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.
Here's how it has happened, and where:
|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|
|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|
|Hornsea Project Three - Orsted||300*||2,400*||1,057 / 7.330|
|Race Bank Extension - Orsted||91*||573*||1,148 / 7,903|