Work to install the first of 277 turbines at the world’s largest offshore wind farm is under way.
The 260m tall turbines – which are almost twice the height of the London Eye – will be installed at Dogger Bank Wind Farm, around 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire using a specialist vessel with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes, the largest of its kind in the world.
Dogger Bank will occupy an area almost as large as Greater London, on seabed that once formed a land bridge between the UK and Europe.
When fully complete it will have an installed capacity of 3.6GW of renewable electricity and be capable of producing enough clean energy to power the equivalent of six million homes annually.
SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
The project is being developed and built by the UK developer SSE Renewables in a joint venture with Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn (a joint venture by Eni Plenitude and Hitec Vision).
Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years. Vårgrønn brings specialist offshore wind expertise to the project.
SSE 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.”
Each turn of a turbine’s 107m long blades will produce enough clean energy to power an average UK home for two days.
Once fully operational, Dogger Bank will generate annual CO2 savings equivalent to the emissions of nearly 1.5 million average internal combustion engine petrol cars.
The installation vessel, Jan de Nul’s Voltaire, is the largest offshore jack-up installation vessel ever built and is the first ultra-low emission ship of its kind.
Work to install the first turbine began at the weekend.
Equinor EVP Renewables, Pål Eitrheim said installation of the first turbine at Dogger Bank was “testament to the determination of the UK Government, the project partners, and the supply chain to deliver a world-class offshore wind project for the UK”.
He added: “To reach our net zero goals, we will need even more of this collaboration.
“We’re delighted to soon begin operating Dogger Bank from our new O&M base at the Port of Tyne, which will host 400 jobs over the 35-year lifetime of the wind farm.
“We look forward to seeing the 277 turbines installed safely over the next three years, generating green electricity at scale and powering millions of British homes.”
Dogger Bank has created and supported more than 2,000 jobs, principally in the North East of England.