The first turbine at the world’s biggest offshore wind farm has been installed and is now producing electricity. The wind farm is being developed by Ørsted (which promotes itself as the global leader in offshore wind), and Global Infrastructure Partners.
According to an Ørsted press release, when fully operational, the Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm will be nearly double the size (1,218MW) of the current world’s largest offshore wind farm, Walney Extension, and capable of powering well over one million UK homes with renewable electricity, generated by wind. The project is located 120km (about 75 miles) off the UK’s Yorkshire coast and will consist of 174 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines. Ørsted expects the project to be completed by Q1 2020.
Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director at Ørsted, said in the press release, “Hornsea 1 is the first of a new generation of offshore power plants that now rival the capacity of traditional fossil fuel power stations. The ability to generate clean electricity offshore at this scale is a globally significant milestone, at a time when urgent action needs to be taken to tackle climate change.
“Ten years ago, the thought of a project of this size was just a dream, but thanks to continued innovation, a determined effort from both the industry and supply chain to drive down costs, and the natural geographical benefits that surround us, the UK has positioned itself as a world-leader in offshore wind. Our company’s vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy, and this flagship project is a significant step on that journey, proving that large-scale renewable energy is not just an idea of the future, it’s here, right now.”
To date, 172 out of 174 monopile foundations have been installed at the site, and turbine installation is expected to continue until late summer 2019. The electricity generated by the turbines will pass via undersea cables through one of three massive offshore substations, and the world’s first offshore reactive compensation station, all fully installed, before reaching shore at Horseshoe Point, Lincolnshire. The electricity is then transported via underground cables to the onshore substation in North Killingholme, where it connects to the UK National Grid, in order to reach well over one million homes in the UK.
Ørsted currently operates more than 1,100 offshore wind turbines, has installed approximately 5.6GW offshore wind capacity and has a further 3.4GW under construction. In addition, Ørsted said in the press release that it has secured the rights to build approximately 1GW offshore wind in the US by 2023, approximately 1.1GW in Germany by 2025, and approximately 1.8GW in Taiwan.
Ørsted posts some beautiful images of its offshore wind farms at www.orsted.com, and we collected several of them in the gallery below.