The 3600MW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm has started producing electricity for the first time.
The project is being constructed in UK waters 70 nautical miles (130km) off the coast of Yorkshire and in three 1200MW phases known as Dogger Bank A, B and C.
Power from the project’s first offshore wind turbine at Dogger Bank A is now being transmitted to the UK’s national grid via Dogger Bank’s high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system, marking the first-time use of HVDC technology on a UK wind farm.
First power followed the installation of the first of GE Vernova’s Haliade-X 13MW turbines, one of the largest and most powerful globally, at the Dogger Bank site.
This is the first time Haliade-X units have been energised offshore anywhere in the world.
Each rotation of the 107-metre long blades on Dogger Bank’s first operational turbine can produce enough clean energy to power an average British home for two days.
When fully complete, Dogger Bank’s world-record-beating 3.6GW capacity will comprise 277 giant offshore turbines capable of producing enough clean energy to power the equivalent of six million homes annually.
Dogger Bank is being developed and built by the UK’s SSE Renewables in a joint venture with Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn (a joint venture of Eni Plenitude and HitecVision).
SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: “There’s been lots of talk about the need to build homegrown energy supplies, but we are taking action on a massive scale.
“Dogger Bank will provide a significant boost to UK energy security, affordability and leadership in tackling climate change.
“This is exactly how we should be responding to the energy crisis.
“But it is also a landmark moment for the global offshore wind industry, with Dogger Bank demonstrating just what can be achieved when policymakers, investors, industry, and communities work together to achieve something truly remarkable.
“The innovations this pioneering project has developed will also mean future developments can be built faster and more efficiently, accelerating the clean energy transition.
“Now, of course, the challenge is to accelerate the next wave of these projects and we look forward to working with governments to bring these forward as soon as possible.”
Anders Opedal, chief executive of Equinor, added: “Set against the broader energy context, Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm demonstrates the best of what the offshore wind industry can offer, with innovative technologies, long-term jobs and economic growth and security of electricity supply at a major scale.
“A renewable mega-project like Dogger Bank constitutes an industrial wind hub in the heart of the North Sea, playing a major role in the UK’s ambitions for offshore wind and supporting its net zero ambitions.
“First power from Dogger Bank, is a testament to the collaboration between the authorities, the project partners, suppliers and our host communities to realise this project.”
Olav Hetland, chief executive of Vårgrønn, added: “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.”