New renewable energy record set in the UK as Grimsby has a new leading wind farm

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 5 Oct 2017

A RECORD proportion of the UK's electricity was generated by renewables in the second quarter of this year, with wind way out in front.

​New figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - covering April to June - show that a record 29.8 per cent was green, beating the previous quarterly record of 26.9 per cent set in quarter one

It underlines the capacity additions, with the Humber contributing well with the 1GW of installed capacity - all operated out of Grimsby - passed in the period in question, as it continues to build.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of the UK’s clean electricity in quarter two was generated by wind alone (27 per cent from onshore wind and 18 per ent from offshore wind), due to increased capacity and higher wind speeds, according to the Government’s latest Energy Trends report.

RenewableUK’s executive director, Emma Pinchbeck, said: “It’s terrific to see that nearly a third of the UK’s electricity is now being generated by renewables, with wind power leading the way. The UK’s renewable energy sector is an industrial success story, attracting investment, creating new jobs, and powering our economy."

Onshore wind performed particularly well, with generation increasing by 50 per cent compared to the same period last year. Today (Thursday, October 5) sees Goole Fields II inaugurated, with 34.85MW added to the Humber's might by Innogy.

Ms Pinchbeck said: "Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new power plant, so it plays an absolutely crucial role in keeping consumer bills down. When the Government holds the next set of competitive auctions for contracts to generate electricity, low-cost onshore wind deserves the chance to compete."

TEN IN TEN: The wind farms operating from Grimsby, and likely to once constructed.

Offshore wind's dramatic reduction continues to play out too, with this region at the fore. As these figures were compiled Dong Energy brought costs to a new low with Hornsea Project Two's Contract for Difference subsidy strike price of £54.50, with Triton Knoll also supported. Together they will bring a further 2.2GW to the town, following Hornsea Project One, at 1.2GW, which will become the world's largest.

On project out of Port of Grimsby East now, and this quarter has seen Race Bank quietly become Grimsby's biggest offshore wind farm, as installed capacity surpassed that of the four-year-old Lincs (270MW), with more than 300MW now commissioned as it ramps up to 573MW. Both are off the Lincolnshire coast, with Dong - to become Ørsted in a generating transformation-inspired name change - in the process of taking over the operations and maintenance of Lincs, in what will be a first for it on a project it did not construct. It follows Centrica's exit from the sector, with Green Investment Bank buying the owner of British Gas out, having been the pioneer for offshore wind, delivering the first three farms and initiating Race Bank.

Know your wind farms: 

Lincs: Located immediately behind first farms Lynn & Inner Dowsing, Lincs is an array of 75 turbines, using the Siemens 3.6MW model like its predecessors. Commissioned in early 2013, it has a 270MW capacity. Lincs was brought forward by Centrica, with Dong Energy and Siemens Project Ventures both holding a 25 per cent stake. It is operated from North Quay, and was opened by then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Sold to Green Investment Bank in 2017 by Centrica and Siemens. Operations and maintenance are being taken on by Dong Energy, who retained the 25 per cent stake, in a hand-over period running to February 2018.

Race Bank: Physical construction is well underway. At 573MW, it is the largest wind farm yet out of the Humber, with 91 Siemens 6MW turbines being installed 17 miles off the Lincolnshire coast at Chapel St Leonards. Brought forward by Dong Energy, it is scheduled for completion in 2018 and the construction project is being managed from the Service Quay base, previously used in the build out of Dong's Westermost Rough. The Danish giant sold a 50 per cent stake in December 2016 to Macquarie Group for £1.6 billion, a move seen as an example that investors are prepared to enter the market earlier.

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