On 1 June 2019, Ørsted formally commenced support operations on Hornsea One, the largest offshore windfarm in the world
On 1 June 2019, Ørsted formally commenced support operations on Hornsea One, the largest offshore windfarm in the world, working from the project’s purpose-built service operation vessel.
The project’s first operational team set sail on 31 May from Grimsby Royal Docks to the windfarm, 120 km out to sea. They are part of two shift-based teams responsible for operating and maintaining the windfarm, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout its 25-year life-span.
The teams will each spend two weeks at a time offshore, staying on a service operations vessel (SOV). The huge scale of the project means that operations are beginning before construction is complete. To date, more than 50 of the 174 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines are operational. Turbine installation is expected to continue until September. When fully operational next year, the windfarm will be able to power well over a million UK homes with clean electricity.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said “The start of operations at the world’s largest windfarm at Hornsea One is an important milestone and yet another example of British innovation and the UK’s leadership in offshore wind. We already have the largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world, and once fully up and running this windfarm will provide enough power for one million more homes, putting us well on the way to our target of a third of the UK’s electricity coming from offshore wind by 2030.”
Hornsea One’s head of operations Morten Holm said “Hornsea One changes the game in the way we produce clean electricity around the globe. It’s the first of a new generation of offshore windfarms, that are much bigger than anyone has ever attempted to build before.
Hornsea One deputy operations manager David Coussens, who is leading the first operational team shift, said, “Operating a windfarm this far offshore is unprecedented. We’ve had to think creatively and come up with new ways of working to overcome the logistical and technical challenges of operating a power station 120 km from the shore.”
Offshore construction began in January 2018, with the first foundations installed. In April 2018, the first offshore substation was installed, followed in June 2018 by the world’s first offshore reactive compensation station. By August 2019, all three offshore substations had been installed. The export cable was completed, months ahead of schedule, in December 2018 and the first turbine was installed and generating power by February 2019.
By April 2019, all of the foundations had been installed. By September 2019 all of the turbines will have been installed and the windfarm is expected to reach full power – with all turbines complete and tested shortly after. It will be fully operational early in 2020.