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Massive UK Wind Farm Build Begins

Thursday, February 1, 2018

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The first monopiles for the world’s largest offshore wind farm have been installed 74 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, England, marking the beginning of construction.

The project, known as Hornsea Project One and spearheaded by wind energy firm Ørsted, is slated to provide energy for over 1 million U.K. homes, totaling 1.2 gigawatts of energy output annually.

Construction Begins

According to Ørsted, the wind farm will have 174 monopiles total. Installation is currently being carried out by GeoSea’s installation vessel, Innovation, which is equipped to carry four monopiles at a time. Each one is 213 feet long, weighs around 800 tons and is 26 feet in diameter.


The first monopiles for the world’s largest offshore wind farm have been installed 74 miles off the cost of Yorkshire, England, marking the beginning of construction.

Innovation will also be used to install some of the project’s transition pieces. The vessel can carry 31,400 tons and 100 people onboard, and is also a self-elevating ship that can extend four legs down to the ocean floor, noted CleanTechnica. Innovation can then become an offshore installation platform.

In March, the A2Sea vessel Sea Installer will join the effort. 

Ørsted announced last year that Wilton Engineering Services Ltd. would be responsible for portions of the construction of the structures, including coating.

Moving Forward

“After years of planning it is fantastic to see the initial stages of offshore construction begin,” said Ørsted’s program manager Duncan Clark.

“Onshore, we are continuing to construct the East Coast Hub which will serve as an operations and maintenance base for our existing wind farms in the area and both Hornsea Project One, and Project Two, for which we took a final investment decision last year.”

Hornsea Project One is slated for completion in 2020.

“These windfarms will not only greatly contribute to the U.K.’s goal of decarbonizing our energy system; they are also bringing jobs and investment to Grimsby and the northeast,” Clark added.

Massachusetts Involvement

Early in Jauary, Bay State Wind, a partnership between Ørsted and Connecticut-based energy company Eversource, submitted a bid to build a commercial-scale wind farm 25 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, the first for the state.

The wind farm will feature a 55-megawatt battery—the largest battery storage system ever implemented in conjunction with a wind farm.

According to North American Windpower, Bay State Wind has proposed both 400-megawatt and 800-megawatt wind farms, with 30- and 55-megawatt battery storage solutions, respectively.


Tagged categories: EU; Europe; Green design; Offshore; Program/Project Management; Wind Farm; Wind Towers

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