With a capacity of 1.2 GW, Hornsea will on completion be the world’s first offshore wind farm to exceed 1,000 MW in capacity and by a large margin become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. It will be able to meet the electricity needs of well over one million UK homes.
The offshore wind farm’s name is Hornsea Project One. It’s situated 120 km off England’s Yorkshire coast. It’s the first time a wind farm has been built so far from land. Its location has primarily been chosen to take advantage of special wind conditions.The great distance from the coast also makes it necessary to create the world’s longest offshore wind farm high-voltage system; to carry the wind energy from water to land and into the UK power grid. The system includes more than 900 km of cables; enough to stretch from John o’ Groats to Land’s End.
Construction starts in early 2016, and when the wind farm is completed in 2020, its 174 7 MW wind turbines will have a capacity of 1.2 GW. Hornsea Project One will cover an area of 407 km2. This is an area slightly larger than Malta. Hornsea will surpass Walney Extension, which had a final investment decision in October 2015, as the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Walney Extension will have a capacity of 660 MW so Hornsea is almost double the size.
Hornsea Project One will also contribute to Dong Energy reaching its strategic goal of offering green energy to 16 million Europeans in 2020. With the offshore wind farm, Dong Energy will, as a whole, generate more than 6.5 GW offshore wind energy.
Hornsea was granted a Final Investment Decision Enabling contract (Contract for Difference) by the UK Government in April 2014 and will receive a fixed tariff for the first 15 years of production. The wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned in 2020.
Hornsea Project One is just the beginning: Dong Energy also has the project rights to the Hornsea Project Two and Three, which have the potential of further 3 GW offshore wind power capacity in total. If these projects are completed, the wind farm will be twice the size of Greater London, with a capacity of about 4 GW – enough to supply more than 4 million UK homes with green electricity.