World's Largest Offshore Wind Project Reaches Milestone: First Turbine Installation Underway

Jan De Nul's Voltaire installation vessel gearing up to start installatio of first turbines at the world's largest offshore wind farm. - Credit: SSE
Jan De Nul's Voltaire installation vessel gearing up to start installatio of first turbines at the world's largest offshore wind farm. - Credit: SSE

The campaign to install the first of 277 turbines at the world’s largest offshore wind farm - the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the UK - is underway, SSE Renewables said Thursday.

The 260-meter-tall offshore wind turbines – each almost twice the height of the London Eye – will be installed around 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire using a specialist vessel - Jan De Nul's Voltaire, with a Huisman crane with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes, the largest of its kind in the world.

Work to install the first 260-meter turbine will begin this weekend.

"The scale of Dogger Bank Wind Farm is immense, occupying an area almost as large as Greater London, on seabed that once formed a land bridge between the UK and Europe," SSE Renewables said.

When fully complete, it will have an installed capacity of 3.6GW of electricity – which, SSE says, is more than two and a half times the size of the next largest offshore wind farm. With this capacity, the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm will be be capable of producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of six million households annually.

SSE said that the start of the campaign to install GE Renewable Energy's 13MW Haliade-X turbines, one of the largest and most powerful in the world, is a "pivotal" moment for the project.

The Dogger Bank offshore wind farm 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).

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.”

SSE Renewables is managing the construction of the wind farm. Upon completion, the operation of the offshore wind farm will transfer to Equinor.

Equinor EVP Renewables, Pål Eitrheim said: "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.”

According to SSE, the project has delivered several world-firsts that will "significantly" accelerate the speed at which future offshore projects can be developed. 

These include the deployment of new 13MW and 14MW turbine technology, the world’s first unmanned offshore High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) substation platform, and the first use of HVDC technology on a UK wind farm.

Dogger Bank in numbers (as shared by SSE)

  • At 260m, the turbine is almost twice the height of the London Eye and equivalent in height to the iconic Rockefeller Centre in New York.
  • Each turn of its 107m wide 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.


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