UK offshore wind capacity factors

Posted by – 2017/01/27

Here are the average capacity factors for offshore wind farms in UK waters, newly updated to include data to the end of December 2016. And you might be interested in comparing these with the capacity factors and load-duration curves for Belgium, Denmark and Germany.

All numbers are to the end of January 2017. Analysis by Raw data from Ofgem and Elexon
elec. gen.
Power per
unit area
spanned (W/m2)
Rolling annual
capacity factors
(click to enlarge)
Barrow 34.6% 35.9% 10.3902,9153.2Barrow
Burbo Bank 32.0% 34.8% 9.2902,5333.1Burbo Bank
Greater Gabbard 40.3% 42.2% 3.45046,3471.5Greater Gabbard
Gunfleet Sands 36.8% 36.6% 6.51733,6354.0Gunfleet Sands
Gwynt-y-Mor 31.4% 31.7% 1.55762,4692.7Gwynt-y-Mor
Humber Gateway 41.2% 41.1% 1.62191,2583.3Humber Gateway
Lincs 40.3% 42.0% 3.32703,2922.8Lincs
London Array 40.4% 41.1% 3.76308,4892.1London Array
Ormonde 35.9% 39.5% 4.91502,5275.9Ormonde
Robin Rigg 32.3% 35.1% 6.31743,4123.4Robin Rigg
Sheringham Shoal 37.4% 40.7% 3.33173,7303.7Sheringham Shoal
Thanet 31.5% 32.8% 6.33005,4112.8Thanet
Walney phase 1 37.5% 40.5% 5.51843,5732.7Walney phase 1
Walney phase 2 31.8% 43.8% 4.51843,1911.8Walney phase 2
Westermost Rough 45.0% 42.9% 1.62101,2682.6Westermost Rough
West of Duddon Sands 42.5% 44.2% 2.23893,2772.6West of Duddon Sands
Beatrice Demo (closed) 14.6% 18.9% 8.310123
Blyth Demo (closed) 18.0% 9.2% 12.8439
Fife Demo 12.0% 8.3% 2.8715
Gunfleet Sands Demo 31.6% 31.1% 3.312113
Inner Dowsing 30.4% 34.4% 7.8972,274
Kentish Flats 32.0% 31.3% 11.1902,711
Kentish Flats Extension 43.9% 43.9% 1.150190
Lynn 33.9% 34.9% 7.8972,301
North Hoyle 28.6% 31.5% 12.5602,059
Rhyl Flats 35.4% 32.9% 7.1901,816
Scroby Sands 34.3% 30.7% 12.1601,937
Teesside 36.4% 34.8% 1.862316

Load duration curves

I’ve constructed for each of the offshore windfarms for which there is half-hourly metered data. Use the pause and play buttons to stop and start the sequential display of curves. Click on the windfarm name in the legend to toggle the display of that farm’s curve.

Note that for each individual windfarm, its curve is based on data starting from either January 2009, or from the date that the windfarm was fully commissioned, whichever is more recent. The curve for all windfarms is based on data starting from the date that the youngest windfarm was fully commissioned.

Capacity factor calculation method

Just as with the Danish offshore windfarm capacity factors, the capacity factors are calculated by calculating, for each wind farm, the number of hours since it was commissioned. This is then multiplied by its capacity, to give the number of peak-MW-hours. This is divided into the total energy generated by that wind farm, to give its capacity factor. The input energy data is from Elexon, and goes back to 2009; and from Ofgem, which goes back to 2000. There are some UK offshore windfarms for which Elexon does not have metered data: for those, I’ve used the REGO data from Ofgem; that data for December 2016 is missing – this page will be updated when it becomes available.