What will be the world's biggest offshore windfarm when it has been completed, Ørsted’s Hornsea 1, has produced power for the first time.
The first turbine at Hornsea 1 has been installed and is now producing electricity. When fully operational, Hornsea 1 offshore windfarm will be nearly double the size, 1.218 GW, of what is currently the world’s largest offshore windfarm, Walney Extension.
The project is located 120 km off the east coast of England and will consist of 174 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines. The majority of blades for the project are being manufactured in Hull, from where they are shipped to the Hornsea zone. The windfarm is a joint venture between Ørsted and Global Infrastructure Partners. Ørsted began offshore construction just over a year ago and expects the project to be completed by Q1 2020.
Responding to the news, UK Energy & Clean Growth minister Claire Perry said, “The UK renewables sector is thriving. Last year we saw the world’s largest offshore windfarm open off the coast of Cumbria, and now it has been joined by an even bigger one starting to produce power for the first time. British innovation is central to our modern Industrial Strategy and our upcoming sector deal will ensure UK offshore wind is a global leader as we transition to a greener, smarter energy future."
Ørsted UK managing director Matthew Wright said, “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.”
To date, 172 out of 174 monopile foundations have been installed at the site, and turbine installation is expected to continue until August 2019. The electricity generated by the turbines will pass via undersea cables through one of three offshore substations, and the world’s first offshore reactive compensation station, all of which have been installed, before reaching shore. The electricity is then transported via underground cables to an onshore substation, where it connects to the UK National Grid.