World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Gets Planning Consent
The Hornsea Two offshore wind farm from Dong Energy has gained planning consent from the U.K. Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark.
The project, located 89 kilometers (55 miles) off the coast of Yorkshire, will have a capacity of up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW). This could meet the electricity needs of around 1.8 million U.K. homes per year.
Wind power is currently delivering over 12 percent of the U.K.’s electricity. This is expected to increase to 20 percent by 2020 with offshore wind alone providing 10 percent. Offshore wind’s costs have also fallen dramatically in the past few years, and it is on course to become competitive with new nuclear and gas.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that the U.K. could scrap the £18 billion ($23 billion) nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point and get the same amount of electricity from offshore wind turbines for roughly the same investment.
Brent Cheshire, Dong Energy’s U.K. Country Chairman, said: “We have already invested £6 billion in the U.K., and Hornsea Project Two provides us with another exciting development opportunity in offshore wind.”
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said: “Today’s announcement is the latest vote of confidence in the U.K.’s world-beating offshore wind market. This huge infrastructure project will provide much-needed investment and energy security for our country. Offshore wind represents a massive economic opportunity to the U.K. and our coastal regions. It is creating new jobs and regenerating local communities”.
Dong Energy reported a 19 percent growth in operating profit for the first half of the year. In June, the company decided to invest in the German offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 2 (450MW) with expected production in 2019, and in July the company was awarded the right to build the Dutch offshore wind farms Borssele 1 and 2. With these decisions, Dong Energy will reach a total installed capacity from offshore wind of 6.7GW by 2020