First power confirmed at world-leading Hornsea One offshore wind farm
The first turbine installed at Hornsea Project One.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 15 Feb 2019
First power has been achieved on Hornsea Project One as the huge infrastructure countdown to Grimsby hosting the world's largest offshore wind farm begins.
The first turbine has been installed, and is now producing electricity.
When fully operational, Hornsea One will be nearly double the size of the current world’s largest, Walney Extension, and be capable of powering well over one million UK homes.
The project is located 120km off the coast, with cables hitting land at Horseshoe Point and feeding the renewable energy into a brand new £25 million substation at North Killingholme.
A further 173 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines are to follow, with the powering up of turbine 95 to bring the record to the East Coast, where it will eventually be surpassed by sister project Hornsea Project Two.
The wind farm is a joint venture between Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind, and corporate investor Global Infrastructure Partners.
The towers, nacelles and blades set sail from Hull on February 5, where the majority of blades are manufactured, and the first turbine was installed just five days later. It will be controlled from Grimsby, where construction and operations crew are deployed from, as well as Humberside Airport.
Ørsted, recently voted as the world’s most sustainable energy company, began offshore construction just over a year ago, and expects the project to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
Claire Perry, pictured right, Energy & Clean Growth Minister, said: “The UK renewables sector is thriving. Last year we saw the world’s largest wind farm open off the coast of Cumbria, and today it’s joined by an even bigger one starting to produce power for the first time.
Ørsted has chartered two wind turbine installation vessels; Bold Tern, owned by Fred Olsen Windcarrier, and Sea Challenger, owned by A2Sea.
Each will carry all components for four wind turbines: four towers, four nacelles, 12 blades and lifting equipment, with installations taking place simultaneously.
Matthew Wright, UK managing director at Ørsted, said: “Hornsea One 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.
Duncan Clark, project director for both Hornsea One, and its sister project Hornsea Two, also under construction, said: “It’s amazing to think that just over a year ago we began offshore construction on Hornsea One, and now, 120km off the coast, it has already started to generate clean electricity. I’d like to thank the thousands of people responsible for delivering this milestone safely and completely as planned. It’s taken hard work from so many different people, long shifts in all weather conditions, ingenious solutions and disciplined professional collaboration – which has all been worthwhile.
“To make this next generation of wind farm possible, the entire supply chain has stepped up to a massive challenge. This has involved scaling up, improving products and processes, refining skills, and together leading offshore wind to its market leading position for new projects today, where it is now competitive on cost of electricity, on scale, on sustainability and on lead time. I would also like to thank those communities that have welcomed us during the construction phase of the project, including onshore cable laying, and all the authorities and businesses whose support and skills are necessary in developing this scale of infrastructure.
“There is still a long way to go, 173 turbines to be precise! But I’m confident we will continue to work to the high standards already demonstrated by the teams involved, and together deliver the biggest renewable energy project in the UK, helping to deliver a cleaner, greener energy system for the future.”