First turbine installation marks milestone for world’s largest offshore wind farm
By Mike Hayes15 August 2023
The construction phase of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm is underway, with the jack-up vessel Voltaire positioned to install the first of 277 turbines this weekend.
When completed in 2026, Dogger Bank (phases A, B and C) will constitute the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with an installed capacity of 3.6GW – enough to provide electricity for up to 6 million homes.
The Jan de Nul-built Voltaire is the largest vessel of its kind in the world, with an unmatched lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes. It has been commissioned to operate on all phases of Dogger Bank, installing GE Renewable Energy’s 13MW Haliade-X turbines at a dstance of approximately 128km from the UK’s Yorkshire coast.
World firsts in offshore wind
Ultimately, the turbine arrays will occupy an area close to the size of Greater London, making Dogger Bank more than twice the size of the next largest offshore wind farm.
The venture is a collaboration between UK-based developer SSE Renewables and Equinor and Vårgrønn, joint venture partners from Norway.
SSE Renewables will oversee the development and construction of the project, with Equinor responsible for the farm’s operation over its anticipated 35-year operational lifespan.
The project is expected to generate over 2,000 job opportunities, primarily in the North East of England.
The challenging conditions in the North Sea have led to the introduction of a number of firsts for the project, including the use of an unmanned offshore High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) substation platform.
Energy security a priority
SSE’s CEO, Alistair Phillips-Davies said, “Dogger Bank is one of the biggest and most complex engineering and infrastructure projects anywhere in the world.
“Our progress here with our joint venture partners Equinor and Vårgrønn proves that offshore wind projects of this size are now mainstream and will help turbocharge the transition to the cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy system we all want to see.
“It is action, not ambition, that will secure our energy future and this project shows action on a massive scale. But we will need many more Dogger Banks to achieve our goals and we look forward to working with government to bring forward more projects at pace.”
During a visit to Able Seaton Port, from where the Voltaire set sail, the UK’s deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden said, “I am pleased to be here in Hartlepool today as we install the first wind turbine at the new Dogger Bank offshore wind farm.
“This project will generate cheap, clean energy to power millions of homes and provide the UK with greater energy independence in the face of Putin’s energy ransom.
“Disruption to global energy supplies is one of the key risks we’ve highlighted in our new National Risk Register and working with the Dogger Bank partners, we are making Britain more secure.”