UK offshore wind capacity factors

Posted by – 2018/01/18

Here are the average capacity factors for offshore wind farms in UK waters, newly updated to include data to the end of December 2017 (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 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 37.7% 36.1% 11.3903,2133.2Barrow
Burbo Bank 27.2% 34.1% 10.2902,7493.1Burbo Bank
Burbo Bank 2 39.1% 39.1% 0.82546592.5Burbo Bank 2
Dudgeon 65.3% 65.3% 0.34025864.8Dudgeon
Greater Gabbard 42.0% 42.1% 4.45048,2001.5Greater Gabbard
Gunfleet Sands 37.0% 36.7% 7.51734,1954.0Gunfleet Sands
Gwynt-y-Mor 38.7% 34.4% 2.55764,4212.9Gwynt-y-Mor
Humber Gateway 45.7% 42.9% 2.62192,1343.5Humber Gateway
Lincs 43.5% 42.3% 4.32704,3202.8Lincs
London Array 39.9% 40.8% 4.763010,6902.1London Array
Ormonde 32.2% 38.3% 5.91502,9525.7Ormonde
Robin Rigg 35.3% 35.1% 7.31743,9513.4Robin Rigg
Sheringham Shoal 41.0% 40.7% 4.33174,8693.7Sheringham Shoal
Thanet 31.7% 32.6% 7.33006,2452.8Thanet
Walney phase 1 43.6% 41.0% 6.51844,2762.7Walney phase 1
Walney phase 2 51.4% 45.2% 5.51844,0221.8Walney phase 2
Westermost Rough 49.8% 45.5% 2.62102,1842.7Westermost Rough
West of Duddon Sands 48.2% 45.4% 3.23894,9222.6West of Duddon Sands
Beatrice Demo (closed) 14.6% 18.9% 8.310123
Blyth Demo (closed) 18.0% 9.2% 12.8439
Fife Demo 12.6% 9.1% 3.8722
Gunfleet Sands Demo 31.4% 30.9% 4.312143
Inner Dowsing 31.8% 34.1% 8.8972,519
Kentish Flats 26.6% 30.8% 12.1902,878
Kentish Flats Extension 38.7% 41.1% 2.150326
Lynn 29.0% 34.2% 8.8972,520
North Hoyle 30.6% 31.8% 13.5602,203
Rhyl Flats 35.3% 33.1% 8.1902,068
Scroby Sands 31.0% 30.7% 13.1602,099
Teesside 36.3% 35.3% 2.862497

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.