World’s largest offshore wind farm project starts powering UK grid

Posted on 31 October 2023

​The first initial turbine in the endeavour to construct the world's largest offshore wind farm, located in the North Sea, has commenced supplying electricity to households and enterprises in the United Kingdom.

Developers officially confirmed that the Dogger Bank, situated 70 nautical miles off the Yorkshire coast, initiated power generation over the weekend as the very first of 277 turbines was successfully linked to the national electricity grid.

This monumental project, a collaborative effort between Britain's SSE,Norway's Equinor, and Vårgrønn, is projected to generate a total of 3.6 gigawatts of electricity, a quantity sufficient to meet the energy needs of 6 million homes upon its full completion in 2026.

The project is divided into three phases, each with a capacity of 1.2GW, known as Dogger Bank A, B, and C.

The project's first wind turbine, located at Dogger Bank A, commenced operation and began generating electricity at 8.37 pm BST on Saturday, October 7th. The power generated by this initial offshore wind turbine is now being transmitted to the UK's national grid through Dogger Bank's high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system. This marks a significant milestone as it represents the first application of HVDC technology in a UK wind farm.

Commencement of power generation came after the installation of the pioneering Haliade-X 13MW turbine by GE Vernova, globally renowned for its impressive size and potency, at the Dogger Bank location. Remarkably, this marks the world's inaugural installation of Haliade-X units in offshore settings.

With each rotation of the turbine's remarkable 107-meter-long blades at Dogger Bank, sufficient clean energy is generated to supply an average British household with power for two consecutive days.

Olav Hetland, CEO of Vårgrønn, said:“Dogger Bank’s first power milestone demonstrates that offshore wind is ready to power Europe’s energy transition.

“While today we celebrate Dogger Bank providing its first power, the offshore wind farm is delivering much more than renewable energy. The project has contributed to building industry and creating local jobs and will continue to do so over several decades. Maximising these positive local ripple effects of offshore wind projects is essential to maintaining strong support for offshore wind and the energy transition.

“Looking ahead, we expect the Northeast of England to hold a central place in Europe’s offshore wind future.”

The government has established a goal to make the UK electricity system carbon-neutral by 2035, and the Labour Party aims to accomplish this even sooner by 2030. Yet, both are confronted with a significant challenge in reaching these objectives, given the current dependence on fossil fuel-based power generation within the market.

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