World's biggest offshore wind farm gets go ahead

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The Hornsea Project Two is located about 89 km (55 mi) off the UK coast and will cover an area of more than 480 sq km (185 sq mi) in the North Sea

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The UK Secretary of State for Energy has given approval for what will be the biggest offshore windfarm in the world. Hornsea Project Two is the second site of the Hornsea offshore project in the UK, and will comprise up to 300 turbines with a total capacity of up to 1.8 GW.

"Offshore wind is already on course to meet 10 percent of the UK's electricity demand by 2020," says Huub den Rooijen, director of energy, minerals and infrastructure at the UK's Crown Estate. "Major developments of Hornsea Project Two's scale will pave the way for its continued growth alongside driving down costs, creating high value jobs, and supporting the UK's transition to a low-carbon energy supply."

Hornsea Project Two is being developed by SMartWind, which was acquired by Denmark's DONG Energy from Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Financial Services in 2015. The site is located about 89 km (55 mi) off the eastern UK coast and will have the potential to power around 1.6 million homes.

There are two other sites as part of the Hornsea offshore project, to which SMartWind also holds the rights. Work on delivering the 1.2-GW capacity Hornsea Project One, which itself was set to become the world's largest offshore windfarm and the first to exceed 1 GW, is already underway. A decision has yet to be made on whether to develop Project Three.

If all three Hornsea sites were to be completed, Dong says they would cover an area twice the size of Greater London and have a capacity of about 4 GW. This, it says, would be enough to supply around four million British homes.

The Development Consent Order (DCO) for Hornsea Project Two was approved by Greg Clark MP and covers the entire project, including the turbines, foundations, offshore and onshore substations, array cables and export cables. The approval was announced today.

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