Halfway to the world’s largest, and furthest offshore, wind farm

Half of the 174 offshore wind turbines to be installed at the Hornsea One offshore wind farm are now in place, says developer Ørsted.

The site is due to reach completion in the first quarter of 2020, at which point it will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, and the furthest from shore yet built.

Sited across an area of 400 km2 and 120 km off the east English coast, the wind farm will comprise 174 Siemens Gamesa turbines, each rated at 7 MW, and will be nearly double the size of the current world’s largest, Walney Extension, says Ørsted.

But power generation at the site is already underway and the project’s first operational team of 32 set sail on 31 May from Grimsby Royal Docks to the wind farm. They are part of two shift-based teams responsible for operating and maintaining the wind farm, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout its 25-year life-span.

The teams will each spend two weeks at a time offshore, staying on a state-of-the-art Service Operations Vessel, equipped with 40 cabins, a games room, a cinema and even a gym.

David Coussens, Deputy Operations Manager and leader of the first operational team shift, 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 120 km from the shore, about the same distance as Grimsby to Leeds.’

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