UK offshore wind capacity factors

Posted by – 2019/03/01

Here are the average capacity factors for offshore wind farms in UK waters, newly updated to include data to the end of December 2018 (though there are still some figures to come through for the last couple of months of last year, for the smaller windfarms). 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 December 2018. 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 34.9% 36.0% 12.3903,4883.2Barrow
Burbo Bank 32.9% 34.0% 11.2903,0093.1Burbo Bank
Burbo Bank 2 37.7% 38.3% 1.82541,5002.4Burbo Bank 2
Dudgeon 45.2% 49.3% 1.34022,1783.6Dudgeon
Galloper 42.9% 42.9% 0.7353946Galloper
Greater Gabbard 38.2% 41.4% 5.45049,8871.4Greater Gabbard
Gunfleet Sands 37.1% 36.7% 8.51734,7584.0Gunfleet Sands
Gwynt-y-Mor 34.5% 34.4% 3.55766,1652.9Gwynt-y-Mor
Humber Gateway 40.7% 42.3% 3.62192,9173.4Humber Gateway
Lincs 41.0% 42.0% 5.32705,2902.8Lincs
London Array 36.8% 40.1% 5.763012,7232.1London Array
Ormonde 35.5% 37.9% 6.91503,4195.7Ormonde
Race Bank 40.6% 40.6% 0.95731,8723.8Race Bank
Rampion 28.6% 28.6% 0.74007151.6Rampion
Robin Rigg 35.7% 35.2% 8.31744,4953.4Robin Rigg
Sheringham Shoal 38.5% 40.3% 5.33175,9373.6Sheringham Shoal
Thanet 33.7% 32.8% 8.33007,1382.8Thanet
Walney phase 1 37.8% 40.6% 7.51844,8852.7Walney phase 1
Walney phase 2 44.8% 45.1% 6.51844,7431.8Walney phase 2
Westermost Rough 47.9% 46.1% 3.62103,0672.8Westermost Rough
West of Duddon Sands 44.1% 45.1% 4.23896,4272.6West of Duddon Sands
Aberdeen EOWDC36.2%34.8%0.593123
Beatrice Demo (closed) 14.6% 18.9% 8.310123
Blyth Demo Array 1 (closed) 18.0% 9.2% 12.8439
Fife Demo 12.8% 9.4% 4.8730
Gunfleet Sands Demo 29.6% 31.0% 5.312183
Inner Dowsing 29.7% 34.4% 9.8972,882
Kentish Flats 28.9% 30.9% 13.1903,188
Kentish Flats Extension 40.1% 41.9% 3.150560
Lynn 29.7% 34.5% 9.8972,884
North Hoyle 33.3% 32.2% 14.5602,454
Rhyl Flats 34.0% 33.5% 9.1902,403
Scroby Sands 33.1% 31.0% 14.1602,293
Teesside 34.4% 35.6% 3.862726

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.