First campaign to install turbines at world’s largest offshore wind farm is underway
The campaign to install the first of 277 turbines at the world’s largest offshore wind farm is underway, marking a major advance in the industry and speeding up the transition to a cleaner, more secure energy system.
The 260m tall turbines – which are almost twice the height of the London Eye – will be installed c.80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire using a specialist vessel, the ‘Voltaire’, with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes, the largest of its kind in the world.
Work to install the first 260m turbine is expected to begin at the weekend.
The scale of Dogger Bank Wind Farm is immense, occupying an area almost as large as Greater London, on seabed that once formed a land bridge between the UK and Europe. When fully complete it will have an installed capacity of 3.6GW of renewable electricity – more than two and a half times the size of the next largest offshore wind farm* – and be capable of producing enough green energy to power the equivalent of 6 million homes annually^.
On a visit to Able Seaton Port in the North East of England to mark the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said:
“I am pleased to be here in Hartlepool today as we install the first wind turbine at the new Dogger Bank offshore wind farm. This project will generate cheap, clean energy to power millions of homes and provide the UK with greater energy independence in the face of Putin’s energy ransom. Disruption to global energy supplies is one of the key risks we’ve highlighted in our new National Risk Register and working with the Dogger Bank partners, we are making Britain more secure.”
The commencement of the campaign to install GE Renewable Energy’s 13MW Haliade-X turbines, one of the largest and most powerful in the world, is a pivotal moment for the landmark project, which is being developed and built by the UK developer SSE Renewables in a joint venture with Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn (a joint venture by Eni Plenitude and Hitec Vision). It also represents a major milestone for the UK’s global leadership on offshore wind.
SSE CEO, Alistair Phillips-Davies 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.”
Equinor EVP Renewables, Pål Eitrheim said:
“The imminent installation of the first turbine at Dogger Bank is a testament to the determination of the UK Government, the project partners, and the supply chain to deliver a world-class offshore wind project for the UK. 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.”
Vårgrønn CEO, Olav Hetland, said:
“Dogger Bank shows that extensive collaboration is key to developing offshore wind farms that provide power at scale while driving innovation.
“Getting to this milestone has relied on the efforts of a huge number of local and international suppliers, and together we have now moved the boundaries of what is possible in offshore wind.
“Dogger Bank now cements the North Sea’s new role as Europe’s renewable power plant and as the home to a world-leading offshore wind supply chain.”
SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. 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 delivered a number of world-firsts that will 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.
Dogger Bank in numbers
At 260m, the turbine is almost twice the height of the London Eye and equivalent in height to the iconic Rockefeller Centre in New York.
Each turn of its 107m long blades will produce enough green energy to power an average UK home for 2 days.
Once fully operational, Dogger Bank will generate annual CO2 savings equivalent to the emissions of nearly 1.5 million average internal combustion engine petrol cars.
The installation vessel, Jan de Nul’s Voltaire, is the largest offshore jack-up installation vessel ever built and is the first ultra-low emission ship of its kind.
CEO of GE Vernova’s Offshore Wind business, Jan Kjaersgaard, said:
“We are delighted that the first campaign to install the Haliade-X turbine at sea at Dogger Bank Wind Farm is underway. We want to thank the partners in the Dogger Bank Wind Farm for the trust they have placed in GE and congratulate everyone involved. Together our teams are making a real contribution to the UK’s ambitious offshore wind goals by helping to bring clean, renewable energy online.”
Jan Van Impe, Manager of Manager Jan De Nul Offshore Renewables added:
“Our Voltaire is more than a match for the scale and characteristics of the offshore Dogger Bank turbines which offer the perfect challenge for this next generation state-of-the art jack-up installation vessel.
“We are excited to be embarking on this campaign to install the very first offshore GE Haliade-X turbine on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in a sustainable and efficient way, and we are looking forward to continue this mission with industry leaders SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn to further construct the energy transition for the UK energy market.”