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World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Generates First Power

first power on the world's largest offshore wind farm
First power was created from what will be for a time the world's largest offshore wind farm (Orsted file photo)

Published Dec 20, 2021 3:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

First power was achieved at the Hornsea 2 which farm, which located approximately 55 miles east of the U.K.’s coast south of Newcastle, is slated to become the world’s largest operating offshore wind farm with a capability of generating 1.32 GW of electricity. The project which is being led by Orsted, completed the installation of its offshore substation and reactive compensation station as it works to commission and energize the wind farm in preparation for its anticipated operational date next year.

Construction on Hornsea 2 began in 2020, with the first of the turbines going into place in May 2021. When fully operational, Hornsea 2’s will consist of 165 8 MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines. It takes the title of the largest operating wind farm from the first phase of the project which was completed in 2020 and has a capacity to generate 1.2 GW. 

“Achieving first power is an important milestone for the project and a proud moment for the whole team. Constructing a project of this size and scale is only possible through strong collaboration, hard work, and dedication,” said Patrick Harnett, Programme Director for Hornsea 2. “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.”

Hornsea 2’s title as the world’s largest wind farm however is likely to be short-lived as the industry continues its rapid growth. Two further phases for the Hornsea Zone are also moving forward with Hornsea 3 having received a Development Consent Order in December 2020 for a project designed to generate 2.4 GW and Hornsea 4 is currently going through the planning process.

While other projects currently having reached the construction phase are all smaller than the massive Hornsea phases, longer-term proposals and project in earlier development phases promise to eclipse both Hornsea 2 and later 3. There are UK projects that call for capacity of 3.1 and 4.1 GW while in South Korea a project has been proposed for 8.2 GW that could be operating by 2030.