Hornsea 2, a wind field off the coast of the United Kingdom of unparalleled magnitude, has generated its first power, according to Danish energy provider Orsted. It will be completely operational next year as the world’s largest offshore wind farm, providing enough power for around 1.3 million homes in the United Kingdom.
The Hornsea 2 venture was approved in 2016 as a supplement to the Hornsea 1 project, which went operational last year as the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with 174 turbines as well as a 1.2-GW capacity that powers over one million UK homes.
Hornsea 2 is the world’s largest wind farm, with a capacity of 1.32 GW and 165 Siemens Gamesa 8-MW turbines. It is located 89 kilometers (55 miles) off the east coast of the United Kingdom. In October of this year, the offshore substation and the reactive compensation station were completed, allowing the farm’s operator, Orsted, to achieve the farm’s first electricity.
Hornsea 2 is going to send wind power back to the shore through more than 800 kilometers (497 miles) of cabling, which will connect to the national grid near Killingholme. The farms, along with their companion Hornsea 1, are estimated to supply enough energy to power over 2.3 million homes. Hornsea 3 (which acquired a Development Consent Order and will power over two million homes) and Hornsea 4 (which is still in the planning process) are also in the works.
“Achieving first power is a significant milestone for the program and a gratifying moment for the entire team,” says Patrick Harnett, Hornsea 2’s Programme Director. “Only great collaboration, hard work, and commitment can enable a project of this magnitude and scope to be built. As we deploy the remaining turbines and finish testing, commissioning, and powering our wind farm throughout the new year, we’ll be nearing the finish line. A hearty thank you to everyone that has worked extremely hard to maintain the project on schedule during the pandemic.”
While these farms in Hornsea are the largest of their kind, the offshore wind industry is a fast-paced one, with the title of “world’s largest” changing hands several times in the last decade. The 630-MW London Array took over the baton from the 500-Megawatts Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm in 2013, before being surpassed in 2018 by the 659-MW Walney Offshore Wind Farm.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm, near the coastal community of Ulrome in England, began building last year. The 853-foot-tall (260-meter) 14-MW Haliade-X, constructed by GE Renewable Energy, will be the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine, with a capacity of 3.6 GW when completed in 2026, when it is anticipated to become the world’s largest wind farm and provide the UK with 5% of its total energy demands.