Work has begun on a huge offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The energy firm SSE (Scottish and Southern energy) announced onshore work for the 3.6-gigawatt (GW) Dogger Bank Wind Farms had started near Ulrome, a coastal village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.
SSE describes Dogger Bank Wind Farms as “the world’s largest offshore wind farm” which is made up of 3 1.2 GW offshore sites: Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B and Teesside A that will be located 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast.
The Dogger Bank wind project is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Norwegian energy major, Equinor and SSE Renewables.
Both companies were successful in their JV application in the recent Contracts for Difference (CfDs) Allocation Round which is the UK Government auction bidding process to produce offshore wind power.
The development and construction phases of the project will be led by SSE Renewables with Equinor leading operations upon completion.
Director of capital projects at SSE renewables said:
“The joint Equinor and SSE Renewables project team on Dogger Bank is excited to work with GE Renewable Energy to introduce the next generation of offshore wind turbine to the UK, and to be the first European wind farm to install and operate these innovative turbines. Dogger Bank will now be home to the largest offshore wind turbines in the world and to this pioneering low carbon technology, which will play a central role in helping the UK become carbon neutral by 2050.”
Jones Bros Civil Engineering U.K., a firm headquartered in North Wales are undertaking the construction work.
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It will have a combined capacity of up to 3.6GW and it is hoped that it will generate around £9 billion of capital investment between 2020 and 2026.
President and chief executive of offshore wind at GE Renewable Energy, John Lavelle, said that his company were ‘very excited’ about the announcement.
“We have an important role to play in the UK’s offshore wind ambitions and in delivering further carbon emission reductions. Our Haliade-X technology is helping our customers to make offshore wind a more competitive source of clean and renewable energy by reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE).”
The scheme is set to use GE’s Haliade-X wind turbine, which has a 12 megawatt generator and stands 260 meters tall. the project will have the capability to produce enough renewable energy for more than 4.5 million homes per year according to SSE.
Managing Director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms said in a statement:
“Getting the first spade in the ground is a significant milestone on any project, but for what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, this is a major moment for a project that has already been over a decade in the making,”
Bjorn Ivar Bergemo, Dogger Bank project director said that the development had been successful in the recent CfD auction “due in large part to the relationships we have built with our supply chain, which enabled the lowest ever strike prices”.
He described the Haliade-X as a “step change in turbine technology”.
There is no doubt that the UK is a big player in the offshore wind sector. The UK is already home to projects such as 659 megawatt Walney Extension facility, in the Irish Sea, which was officially opened in 2018.
This large-scale project is capable of powering more than 590,000 homes. According to Danish energy company Orsted it covers an area of around 20,000 soccer pitches and has 87 turbines.
Collectively Europe is home to a significant offshore wind sector. In a report from the industry body WindEurope 409 wind turbines were connected to the grid in 2018. Their average size in 2018 was 6.8 MW, which equates to a 15% rise compared to 2017.