DONG Energy has acquired the Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm development in the UK from the SMart Wind consortium, which includes Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens.
The 1.2 GW offshore wind project, 120 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast and covering approximately 407 square kilometres, is expected to enter into commercial operation around 2020, at which point it will provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 800,000 UK households.
The Hornsea Project One was jointly owned by the SMart Wind consortium and DONG Energy, which meant that the Danish wind energy giant needed to only acquire the remaining 66.66% of the development. The British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change granted consent for the purchase in December of 2014, allowing DONG Energy to become the sole owner of the project, in line with its recent decision to divest itself from all onshore wind energy projects to focus solely on offshore projects.
“The size and location of Hornsea Project One makes it the world’s first offshore wind farm with a capacity of more than 1GW located far from shore, and it brings some great opportunities for us and the supply chain to take advantage of economies of scale and further drive down the cost of electricity,” said Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President of DONG Energy Wind Power.
DONG Energy completed the divestment of its onshore holdings late December with the sale of the Swedish onshore wind farm Storrun, a 30 MW wind farm that has been in operation since September 2009.
“Today, offshore wind is the fastest growing renewable energy technology in Europe, and it’s within offshore wind that DONG Energy has its key competences,” said Samuel Leupold, at the time. “Until now, we’ve installed more than 2,500MW offshore wind power capacity and we’re determined to install another 4,000MW by 2020.
“We’re fully committed to build new offshore wind farms to support the transition of our energy supply in a greener direction. Therefore, I’m very pleased with the fact that we’ve now divested our last onshore wind activities so that we can focus entirely on this considerable task.”
Speaking about the decision to continue developing the Hornsea Project One development alone, Leupold said:
“We will now continue on our own to develop the project towards a final investment decision. The size of the project and the excellent wind conditions at site together with our strong focus on cost will make Hornsea one an important milestone towards the 100 Euro/MWh target. While the project is huge in size, it can be realized with technology which DONG Energy masters, though no one else has ever built offshore wind in that scale so far from the coast.”