The campaign to install the first of 277 turbines at the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, is underway.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm will occupy an area almost as large as Greater London, on seabed that once formed a land bridge between the UK and Europe.
The turbines, 260m GE Renewable Energy’s 13MW Haliade-X turbines, will be installed by Jan de Nul’s Voltaire, the largest offshore jack-up installation vessel ever built and the first ultra-low emission ship of its kind, able to lift 3,200 tons.
This installation is a pivotal moment for the landmark project. It also marks a major advance in the industry and speeds up the transition to a cleaner, more secure energy system, with the annual CO2 savings projected to be equivalent to the emissions of nearly 1.5 million average internal combustion engine petrol cars.
When fully complete, the wind farm will have a capacity of 3.6GW of renewable electricity – more than two and a half times the size of the next largest currently operating offshore wind farm.
It is projected to produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of six million homes annually, based on Typical Domestic Consumption Values in Britain; each revolution of one turbine’s 107m blades should power an average UK home for two days.
The project is being developed and built by UK developer SSE Renewables in a joint venture with Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn.
SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction, Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years. Vårgrønn brings specialist offshore wind expertise to the project.
Dogger Bank has created and supported more than 2,000 jobs, principally in the North East of England. Construction on this scale in the challenging conditions of the North Sea is unprecedented and the project has reportedly delivered a number of world-firsts that could significantly accelerate the speed at which future offshore projects can be developed.
These include deployment of new 13MW and 14MW turbine technology, the world’s first unmanned offshore High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) substation platform, and first use of HVDC technology on a UK wind farm.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE CEO, said, “Dogger Bank is one of the biggest and most complex engineering and infrastructure projects anywhere in the world.
“Our progress here with our joint venture partners Equinor and Vårgrønn proves that offshore wind projects of this size are now mainstream and will help turbocharge the transition to the cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy system we all want to see.
“It is action, not ambition, that will secure our energy future and this project shows action on a massive scale. But we will need many more Dogger Banks to achieve our goals and we look forward to working with government to bring forward more projects at pace.”
EVP of Equinor Renewables Pål Eitrheim said, “To reach our net zero goals, we will need even more of this collaboration. We’re delighted to soon begin operating Dogger Bank from our new O&M base at the Port of Tyne, which will host 400 jobs over the 35-year lifetime of the wind farm. We look forward to seeing the 277 turbines installed safely over the next three years, generating green electricity at scale and powering millions of British homes.”