U.K.’s Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm Reaches First Power Milestone

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When fully operational, Hornsea 2’s 165 8 MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines will be capable of generating 1.32 GW of clean electricity – taking the title of “world’s largest operating offshore wind farm” from its sibling project Hornsea 1. Together, the two projects will be capable of providing enough power for well over 2.3 million homes.

First power on Hornsea 2, which is located 89 km off the U.K.’s east coast, was achieved after its offshore substation (OSS), the world’s largest offshore AC substation, and reactive compensation station (RCS), were installed in late October. Since that time, Ørsted and its partner companies have been working to commission and energiZE the wind farm in preparation for its anticipated operational date next year.

“Achieving first power is an important milestone for the project and a proud moment for the whole team,” comments Patrick Harnett, program 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.”

Once Hornsea 2 is completed, power will be transferred from the 165 wind turbines via 373 km of array cables to the OSS and RCS, reaching the national grid via 390 km of offshore and 40 km of onshore export cables that terminate at the onshore substation in Killingholme.

A further two projects in the Hornsea Zone are also underway, with Hornsea 3 receiving a development consent order in December 2020 and Hornsea 4 currently going through the planning process.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the world today, and we believe that the solution lies in deploying renewable energy resources on a much larger scale than anything we have seen so far,” says Duncan Clark, head of region U.K. at Ørsted. “The U.K. is the global leader in offshore wind, and our Hornsea projects have helped pave the way for the next generation of offshore wind farms. Reaching this milestone on Hornsea 2 is testament to the incredible skill and commitment of everyone involved.”

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