RWE Innogy said Wednesday its 325 megawatt Thornton Bank wind farm off the Belgian coast was inaugurated, nearly 10 years after the first permits were awarded. The Thornton Bank wind farm lies about 18 miles off the Belgian coast in the shallow waters of the North Sea. The 54 wind turbines can churn out 325 MW of electricity, enough to meet the annual electricity needs of 300,000 households. German energy company RWE Innogy, the largest shareholder in the wind farm, said the project was realized with the help of $1.2 billion in financing from eight European banks, including the European Investment Bank. \"Equipped with the largest offshore turbines currently available, the wind farm has been setting standards in terms of construction, network connection and operation,\" RWE Innogy Chief Executive Officer Hans Bunting said in a statement. The company said it took nearly 10 years to finish the wind farm in phases. Phase one was commissioned in 2009, phase two was connected to the grid in January and the last turbines of phase three were installed in July.