Danish renewable energy company Ørsted has taken a final investment decision (FID) on what it says is the world’s single largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 3.
It has committed to building the site which will have a capacity of 2.9 GW and is expected to be completed around the end of 2027.
It will be the company’s third gigawatt-scale project in the Hornsea zone following Hornsea 1 (1.2 GW) and Hornsea 2 (1.3 GW), which are already being operated out of Ørsted’s operations and maintenance hub in Grimsby.
The possible future addition of Hornsea 4 would create an offshore wind cluster in excess of 7 GW and unlock further cluster synergies.
The company says it has all major contracts for Hornsea 3 in place, including an agreement with Siemens Gamesa for SG 14-236 DD offshore wind turbines, which have a capacity of 14 MW excluding power boost.
Mads Nipper, group president and CEO of Ørsted, said: “By applying our world-leading capabilities within offshore wind innovation, engineering, operations, procurement, and financing, we’ve been able to mature the world’s largest offshore wind project and take final investment decision.
“Offshore wind is an extremely competitive global market, so we also welcome the attractive policy regime in the UK which has helped secure this investment.
“We look forward to constructing this landmark project, which will deliver massive amounts of green energy to UK households and businesses and will be a significant addition to the world’s largest offshore wind cluster.”
Duncan Clark, head of Ørsted UK and Ireland, added: “Hornsea 3 will be a cornerstone in achieving the UK government’s climate and clean energy targets while increasing energy independence and creating local jobs.
“Our decision to build Hornsea 3 is a vote of confidence in the UK market for offshore wind, as we continue to invest significantly in UK clean energy infrastructure and in the UK supply chain.”
With a capacity of 2.9 GW, Hornsea 3 will produce enough low-cost, renewable electricity to power more than 3.3 million UK homes, making a significant contribution to the UK government’s ambition of having 50 GW offshore wind in operation by 2030 as part of the British Energy Security Strategy.
Hornsea 3 will support up to 5,000 jobs during its construction phase, with up to a further 1,200 permanent jobs both directly and in the supply chain in the long operational phase. Hornsea 3 will be operated from Ørsted’s operations and maintenance hub in Grimsby.
Ørsted has already announced a series of significant supplier contracts – including an agreement for Hornsea 3 to be the first and lead customer at SeAH Wind’s monopile factory in Teesside, underpinning SeAH’s investment decision to establish a new, globally competitive monopile factory in the UK.
Hornsea 3 is located 160 km off the Yorkshire coast. When the wind farm comes online, Ørsted’s Hornsea trio – comprising Hornsea 1, 2, and 3 – will have a total capacity of in excess of 5 GW, making it the world’s largest operating offshore wind zone.
The Hornsea zone will also include Ørsted’s Hornsea 4 project, which could have a capacity of up to 2.6 GW. Hornsea 4 received its development consent order from the UK government earlier in 2023 and is now eligible for forthcoming CfD allocation rounds.
Ørsted will build Hornsea 3, including transmission assets (offshore and onshore substations and export cables). When the wind farm has been fully commissioned, Ørsted will, in accordance with UK regulation, divest the transmission assets to a new owner.