Cornwall Insight reveals highest offshore wind load factors since 2015

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A recent study by Cornwall Insight has revealed that onshore wind load factor energy averaged 42% in January. This comes as a result of elevated wind speeds. What’s more, older offshore sites (pre-2016) reached an average of 52%.

Post-2016 windfarms performed better with offshore a wind load energy factor, averaging at 55%. These are some of the highest load factors since the second half of 2015.

Lucy Dolton, an analyst at Cornwall Insight, said: “There is a clear trend for higher load factors from newer sites which are likely down to the utilisation of larger turbines. In fact, further research by Cornwall Insight shows some of the newest offshore and onshore sites saw monthly average load factors close to, or above, 70% for the month of January, and on some days approached 100%.

“With a further 1.1GW of new offshore wind capacity expected to be operational by April 2020 and with government aims to have 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 (up from today’s 10.8GW), these wind output records are likely to be broken more frequently.

“Although decarbonisation of the electricity mix is wholly positive, ever-higher levels of wind output are not without its impacts. During periods of high wind output, the subsequent lower wholesale prices put some sites at risk of cannibalising their revenues and can even lead to negative prices, as seen in December.”

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