Energy

World's largest offshore wind farm generates its first power

World's largest offshore wind ...
The Hornsea 2 project features 165 of Siemens' Gamesa 8-MW wind turbines
The Hornsea 2 project features 165 of Siemens' Gamesa 8-MW wind turbines
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The Hornsea 2 project features 165 of Siemens' Gamesa 8-MW wind turbines
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The Hornsea 2 project features 165 of Siemens' Gamesa 8-MW wind turbines
The Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm is expected to provide enough power for more than 1.3 million homes
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The Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm is expected to provide enough power for more than 1.3 million homes

The switch has been flicked on a wind farm off the shore of the UK of unprecedented scale, with Danish energy firm Orsted announcing that Hornsea 2 has produced its first power. It is expected to become fully operational next year as the world's biggest offshore wind farm, and provide enough power for more than 1.3 million homes in the UK.

The Hornsea 2 project was approved back in 2016 as an addition to the Hornsea 1 project, which became commercially operational last year as the largest offshore wind farm in the world, with 174 turbines and a 1.2-GW capacity that provides power to over one million UK homes.

Taking the "world's largest" title with its 1.32-GW capacity, Hornsea 2 is located 89 km (55 miles) off the east coast of the UK and features 165 of Siemens' Gamesa 8-MW wind turbines. The offshore substation and reactive compensation station were installed in October this year, allowing operator Orsted to achieve the farm's first power.

When fully completed, Hornsea 2 will send wind power back to shore via more than 800 km (497 miles) of cabling, connecting to the national grid at the village of Killingholme. Together with its sibling Hornsea 1, the farms are expected to provide enough power for more than 2.3 million homes. Also in the works is Hornsea 3, which received a Development Consent Order last year and will power more than two million homes, and Hornsea 4, which is currently in the planning phase.

The Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm is expected to provide enough power for more than 1.3 million homes
The Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm is expected to provide enough power for more than 1.3 million homes

“Achieving first power is an important milestone for the project and a proud moment for the whole team," says Patrick Harnett, Programme Director for Hornsea 2. "Constructing a project of this size and scale is only possible through strong collaboration, hard work, and dedication. From here, we have the finishing line in sight as we install the remaining turbines and continue testing, commissioning, and energizing our wind farm into the new year. A huge well done to everyone who has worked through the pandemic to keep the project on track.”

While these farms at Hornsea are the biggest of their type, the world of offshore wind is a fast-moving one, with the "world's largest" title changing hands a number of times over the past decade or so. The 630-MW London Array came online in 2013 to take the mantle from the 500-MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, before the 659-MW Walney offshore wind farm then claimed it in 2018.

Last year, we saw construction kick off on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm near the coastal village of Ulrome in England. It will feature the world's largest offshore wind turbine, the 853-ft-tall (260-m), 14-MW Haliade-X, built by GE Renewable Energy, and have a capacity of 3.6 GW after its completion in 2026, when it is expected to become the largest wind farm in the world and provide the UK with five percent of its total energy needs.

Source: Orsted

15 comments
15 comments
CarolynFarstrider
A good news story!
Hasler
Only when the wind bloweth!
Alexander Cokonis
Increase renewable energy to beyond the need for electrification and use excess for green hydrogen and clean hydrogen fuels. This is the path to the elimination of fossil fuels (dirty hydrogen).
guzmanchinky
Considering how constantly windy it is on the East coast of the UK this is amazing progress. And when it's that far offshore there are zero noise or visual complaints...
windykites
All these wind turbines around the UK, and yet they will only provide 5% of the energy needs. The other 95%?
My electricity bill is set to go up 100% next April!
Bruce Warren
These articles always grossly exagerate the number of houses that can be powered. One point three million houses divides into a house using less than 25 kilowatt hours per day. My house averages 150 Kilowatt hours per day (lots of air conditioning... average bill is $400/month). If your house in the UK has one refrigerator and a dozen lights and burns gas for everything else then those wind turbines could run a million houses. But only when the wind is blowing hard. No wind?... like this year... no power.
bwana4swahili
Very nice tech as long as the wind blows; otherwise, just sculpture in the ocean!
Signguy
Ths are ahuge waste money! There are more efficient generators using the consistant wave motion of the sea, witch never ceases!
Skipjack
That is 1.2 GW *capacity*! IF it runs at full capacity, it might be able to power a little over 1 million homes (and 1.3 million seems to high even on full capacity). But in reality it will be maybe running at 25% capacity, so 250,000 homes on average.
Hugh Ellison
Re: Windykites: Considering that the UK generated 24% of its power from wind last year, (https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/articles/windenergyintheuk/june2021) I have a feeling you're pulling statistics out of thin air.
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