Danish energy company DONG Energy has been given the official go ahead form the British government to build to world’s largest offshore wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire.
The Hornsea Project Two wind farm will consist of some 300 turbines, each about as tall as the Gherkin, and will cover an area of 480km². The wind farm will have a maximum generational capacity of around 1,800 megawatts – enough to provide 1.6 million homes’ worth of power.
This will make it larger than Hornsea Project One, which is still under construction but when complete will have a generational capacity of some 1,200 megawatts. Hornsea One must be finished before construction gets underway on Two and after that, DONG are hoping that they will be able to get started on Project Three. If all three projects get built, they are expected to have a combine generational capacity of 6,000 megawatts.
Hornsea Project Two will become the largest operational wind farm on the planet when built, with Project One as the second largest, far eclipsing the third largest – the 650MW London Array in the outer Thames Estuary.
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, spoke positively about the new project, highlighting the importance offshore wind for the UK’s energy security and for jobs growth.
Hornsea Project Two is expected to provider almost 2,000 jobs during its construction and, once it is completed, almost 600 regular staff will be employed in order to maintain and operate the site.
Clark said: “The UK’s offshore wind industry has grown at an extraordinary rate over the last few years, and is a fundamental part of our plans to build a clean, affordable, secure energy system. Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we are determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country.”
DONG Energy’s Brent Cheshire said that he was very pleased at the government giving the project the go ahead, saying that it represents an important step in the progress of the UK’s offshore wind industry which is expected to provide around a tenth of all of the country’s energy by 2020.
Cheshire said: “Development consent for Hornsea Project Two is very welcome. We have already invested £6bn in the UK, and Hornsea Project Two provides us with another exciting development opportunity in offshore wind. Hornsea Project Two is a huge potential infrastructure project which could provide enough green energy to power 1.6m UK homes. A project of this size will help in our efforts to continue reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind and shows our commitment to investing in the UK.”