Danish energy firm Orsted has announced that its Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm generated its first power, representing a significant milestone in the facility’s development.
When fully operational, Hornsea 2’s wind turbines will be capable of generating 1.32 GW of clean electricity – taking the title of ‘world’s largest operating offshore wind farm‘ from its sibling project, Hornsea 1. Together, the two projects will be capable of providing enough power for well over 2.3 million homes.
Located 89 km off the UK’s east coast, the Hornsea 2 achieved its first power after its offshore substation (OSS), the world’s largest offshore AC substation, and reactive compensation station (RCS), were installed in late October 2021. Since that time, Ørsted and its partner companies have been working hard to commission and energize the wind farm in preparation for its anticipated operational date next year.
Spread across an area of 462 square kilometers, it will use 165 8 MW wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa and boast a capacity of more than 1.3 GW. When Hornsea 2 is fully completed, power will be transferred from the wind turbines via 373 km of array cables to the OSS and RCS, reaching the national grid via 390 km of offshore and 40 km of onshore export cables, which terminate at the onshore substation in Killingholme.
A further two projects in the Hornsea Zone are also underway, with Hornsea 3 receiving a Development Consent Order in December 2020 and Hornsea 4 currently going through the planning process. Collectively, the projects would make a significant contribution to the UK government’s target of achieving net-zero by 2050.
“Achieving first power is an important milestone for the project and a proud moment for the whole team,” said Patrick Harnett, Programme Director for Hornsea 2. “Constructing a project of this size and scale is only possible through strong collaboration, hard work, and dedication. From here, we have the finishing line in sight as we install the remaining turbines and continue testing, commissioning, and energizing our wind farm into the new year. A huge well done to everyone who has worked through the pandemic to keep the project on track.”