Grimsby's path to 8GW of offshore wind energy

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Nov 2018

Grimsby is on course to hit almost 8GW of installed capacity in offshore wind in the coming years.

The recent revelation of Race Bank Extension, a proposal to double the latest addition to the town-operated fleet, pushes the total to a level that could meet London's peak demand.

Direct jobs created, already in the hundreds, could hit four figures as the operations and maintenance bases - these huge offshore power stations' gatehouses, control rooms and spares bays - cluster on the first port of the Humber.

Now with a fourth round of seabed leases looming and the potential for the Sofia array off North Yorkshire to be controlled from the town, it could mean Grimsby is responsible for well over a third of the 30GW envisaged for the UK by 2030.

A case is being made for the Innogy project to be served from Grimsby, with Triton Knoll, the company's Round Two farm, having agreed to develop its base in town. Confirmation of the latter, and work on it, is anticipated to begin soon, as the onshore electricity infrastructure takes shape further south.

Less than 18 months ago (June 2017) during the early build out of Race Bank, the town's first gigawatt of capacity was celebrated, and the 328 turbines now installed in the Humber approaches, off the East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coastlines, account for 1,466 MW.  But back-to-back world-leading projects from Orsted, together with Triton Knoll, will see that figure rocket in the next three years, with further projects following soon after.

It is a huge step forward as technology, confidence and desire has quick-stepped through a tremendous decade of delivery. In late 2007 and early 2008, Lynn and Inner Dowsing emerged with Centrica, alongside Siemens, the pioneer. The first purpose-built base on the North Quay arrived as did Lincs, quickly ramping up the town's role. 

Hard to imagine now, but for a time that 270MW farm, clearly visible from Skegness, held the 'world's largest' title. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg flew over the arrays before arriving in town to officially open it back in 2013.

As he did, work was well underway on Dong Energy's Westermost Rough and E.on's Humber Gateway, with vessel masters having to adjust to a left turn out of the Humber for a first time.  Almost equal in output, the former saw another world first claimed, the installation of 5MW turbines.

In the space of four short years turbine sizes have doubled again, with 9.5MW models ordered for Triton Knoll.

Race Bank, revealed under Dong's name change to Orsted - having been bought off the drawing board from Centrica and developed out - brought helicopter technician transfers into the industry, as well as field-based work as the distance offshore increased, and with it yet another first, the quickest installation ever achieved.  

Hornsea One and Two will see the world's largest title return to Grimsby. For how long? A skip to the territorial waters boundary with Hornsea Project Three may well have the answer.

Here's how it has happened, and where: 

Offshore wind farms operated and maintained from Grimsby
Name / Developer Turbines  Capacity

Cumulative Total  (Turbines / MW) 

Lynn & Inner Dowsing - Centrica 54 x Siemens 3.6MW 194 2008 54 / 194
Lincs - Centrica 75 x Siemens 3.6MW 270 2013 129 / 464
Westermost Rough - Orsted 35 x Siemens 5MW 210 2015 164 / 674
Humber Gateway - E.on 73 x MHI Vestas 3MW 219 2015 237 / 893
Race Bank - Orsted 91 x Siemens 6.3MW 573 2018 328 / 1,466
Under construction
Hornsea Project One - Orsted 174 x Siemens 7MW 1,218 2020 502 / 2,684
Triton Knoll - Innogy 90 x MHI Vestas 9.5MW 860 2021 592 / 3,544
Hornsea Project Two - Orsted 165 x Siemens 8.4MW 1,386 2022 757 / 4,930
In development
Hornsea Project Three - Orsted 300* 2,400* 1,057 / 7.330
Race Bank Extension - Orsted 91* 573* 1,148 / 7,903
*Indicative only

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