Voltaire is the world's largest ever offshore jack-up vessel. Credit: Dogger Bank Wind Farm

Dogger Bank turbine installations cued up

Work to install the first of 277 turbines at the world’s largest offshore wind farm, to be served primarily from the North East, begins this weekend.

The 260m tall turbines, almost twice the height of the London Eye, will be installed around 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire using a specialist vessel with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes.

Installation will take around three years. The project will use GE Renewable Energy’s 13MW Haliade-X turbines.

UK business SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Norway’s Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years, servicing the operation from its Port of Tyne base. Vårgrønn brings specialist offshore wind expertise to the project.

Speaking in Able Seaton Poert, Hartlepool, deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden said: “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 SSE and its partners, we are making Britain more secure.”

When fully complete the wind farm will have an installed capacity of 3.6GW of renewable electricity – more than two and a half times the size of the next largest offshore wind farm currently in operation, and should be capable of producing enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 6m homes annually.

SSE chief executive 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.”

Equinor EVP Renewables’ Pål Eitrheim said that the firm’s operations and maintenance base at the Port of Tyne will soon be live, bringing 400 jobs over the 35-year lifetime of the wind farm.

SSE said that Dogger Bank has created and supported more than 2,000 jobs, principally in the North East. “World firsts” claimed by the project include the deployment of new 13MW and 14MW turbine technology, the world’s first unmanned offshore High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) substation platform, and first use of HVDC technology on a UK wind farm.

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.

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