The London Array, the planet’s largest offshore wind farm, became fully operational on April 8, 2013. It has a maximum generating power of 630 megawatts (MW), enough to supply as many as 500,000 homes.
The London array is located 20 kilometers (12 miles) from England’s Kent and Essex coasts in the Thames Estuary, where the River Thames meets the North Sea,
NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite captured these images of the area on April 28, 2013. The top image is a closeup of the area marked by the white box in the lower image. The little white dots in the top image are the wind turbines. You can also see a few boat wakes.
To date, the London Array includes 175 wind turbines aligned to the prevailing southwest wind and spread out across 100 square kilometers (40 square miles). Each turbine stands 650 to 1,200 meters apart (2,100 to 3,900 feet) and 147 meters (482 feet) tall. Each is connected by cables buried in the seafloor, and power is transmitted to two substations offshore and to an onshore station at Cleve Hill.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.