Construction starts on the world’s largest offshore wind farm

Construction has kicked off on what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, located in the North Sea.

Danish developers Ørsted announced last week that the foundation for the first turbine had been installed. The huge clean energy infrastructure project, called Hornsea One, will comprise of 170 turbines located 74 miles off the UK’s Yorkshire coast. Once fully operational in 2020 the wind farm will have a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW), enough to power over 1 million British households.

Ørsted is also developing the larger Hornsea Two wind farm in the same region, which could be complete in the early 2020s. The projects represent the new generation of offshore wind farms which use larger, more efficient turbines helping to reduce costs and generate more clean electricity.

The UK has long been the world leader in offshore wind and has built more capacity than any other country. It is also home to a number of the world’s largest offshore wind projects dotted off its east and west coasts.

The current largest, the London Array, has a capacity of 630MW, and is located in the Thames Estuary.  

Ørsted’s programme manager Duncan Clark said “After years of planning it is fantastic to see the initial stages of offshore construction begin. Onshore, we are continuing to construct the East Coast Hub which will serve as an operations and maintenance base for our existing windfarms in the area and both Hornsea Project One, and Project Two, for which we took a final investment decision last year.

“These windfarms will not only greatly contribute to the UK’s goal of decarbonising our energy system; they are also bringing jobs and investment to Grimsby and the northeast.”

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, the wind energy trade body, said the moment was “another landmark in UK offshore wind construction”.

 Image Credit: Ørsted

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