An important milestone has been reached at the UK mega offshore wind farm Dogger Bank. The first Haliade-X turbine from GE Vernova has produced electricity for the first time and fed it into the grid.
Norwegian energy company Equinor and joint venture partner SSE Renewables, based in Dublin, own the Doggerbank Offshore Wind Farm sub-areas A to C, which have the capacity to install offshore wind turbines with a capacity of approximately 1,200 MW of power each. With the start of power production of the first turbine from GE Vernova, an important interim goal has now been reached in what is to date the world’s largest project.
277 turbines with 3,600 MW to be built – further phase planned
The 3,600 MW (3.6-GW) Dogger Bank project is being built in U.K. waters approximately 70 nautical miles (about 130 km) off the Yorkshire coast in the U.K. North Sea in three 1,200 MW (1.2-GW) phases (Dogger Bank A, B and C). The project occupies an area nearly the size of Greater London and almost twice the size of New York City with 277 GE Vernova Haliade-X offshore turbines, each rated at 13 MW, according to Equinor. The 260-m-high turbines will be installed and commissioned in stages until full commercial operation is planned in 2026.
When fully completed, the turbines are expected to be able to generate enough energy to supply the equivalent of six million UK homes with electricity each year. The electricity generated by the offshore wind farm will be transmitted to the UK grid via Dogger Bank’s high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system.
As the main operator during the operational phase of the wind farm, Equinor will maintain and operate Dogger Bank over its expected 35-year lifetime. Operations and maintenance will be carried out from the recently opened O&M base in the Port of Tyne. The base will provide approximately 400 jobs.
The Dogger Bank project is being developed and built by a joint venture of Equinor, SSE Renewables and Vårgrønn (a joint venture of Eni Plenitude and HitecVision). SSE Renewables is the main operator for the development and construction phase, while Equinor will be the main operator of the wind farm during its expected operational life. Vårgrønn brings offshore wind expertise to the project.
When completed, Dogger Bank will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Currently, Equinor and SSE Renewables are also conducting studies on the potential development of a fourth phase (Doggerbank D). This could have the largest capacity of up to 2,000 MW.
Dogger Bank project to accelerate realization of future projects
The Dogger Bank project is deploying several new technologies and methods that Equinor believes will significantly accelerate the speed at which future offshore projects can be developed. These include the use of Jan De Nul Group’s latest hub installation vessel Voltaire. With a deadweight capacity of 3,200 tons, the Voltaire is currently the world’s largest offshore jack-up vessel of its kind, according to Equinor, while also boasting low emission levels.
Dogger Bank also marks the first use of HVDC transmission technology to connect a U.K. wind farm to National Grid’s U.K. energy network. This includes the installation of the world’s first unmanned offshore HVDC substation at the site, as well as the first deployment of Hitachi Energy’s HVDC Light® transmission system, which Equinor says was completed in a record 38 months and to the highest safety and quality standards.
More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created or supported in the UK in connection with the construction and operation activities of the Dogger Bank project.