Work has officially started on the world's largest offshore wind farm and it is located right here in Yorkshire.
Hornsea One, located 120km of the East Yorkshire coast, is a step change in the size of wind farms and once complete will be double the size of the world's current largest wind farm, the Walney Extension.
The project's first operational team of 32 set sail from Grimsby Royal Docks to the wind farm yesterday, with work officially starting today. The 32 workers are part two shift-based teams that are responsible for operating and maintaining the wind farm, 24 hours a day, seven says a week, throughout its 25-year life span.
The teams will each spend two weeks at a time offshore, staying on the state-of-the-art Service Operations Vessel (SOV), which is equipped with 40 cabins, a games room, a cinema and gym.
The huge scale of the project means that operations are beginning before construction is complete. To date, over 50 of the 174 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines are operational, and turbine installation is expected to continue until late summer.
When fully operational next year, the wind farm will be able to power well over a million UK homes with clean electricity.
Morten Holm, Hornsea One’s head of operations, said: “Hornsea One changes the game in the way we produce clean electricity around the globe. It’s the first of a new generation of offshore wind farms, that are much bigger than anyone has ever attempted to build before.
“The speed of construction has been phenomenal, and it’s thanks to the hundreds of dedicated people working on the project, that the project is on schedule to eventually generate enough clean electricity for over a million homes across the UK. It’s an exciting moment for me personally, but also for the UK as the world watches the progress with this record-breaking wind farm.”
David Coussens is deputy operations manager for Hornsea One, and leading the first operational team shift.
He said: “Operating a wind farm this far offshore is unprecedented. We’ve had to think creatively and come up with new ways of working to overcome the logistical and technical challenges of operating a massive power station 120km from the shore, about the same distance as Grimsby to Leeds.
“A big part of this is our people, and ensuring offshore life is as comfortable as possible for them. There is even 4G internet connection already out there, a huge feat given the distance from shore. I am really looking forward to our first two-week shift.”
Hornsea One is expected to become fully operational in early 2020.