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DONG Energy To Build 1.2 GW Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm

DONG Energy has confirmed it has committed to building the mammoth 1.2 GW Hornsea One offshore wind farm, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

Hornsea-2Danish wind energy giant DONG Energy announced that it has made a final investment decision to build the giant Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm in UK waters. The 1.2 GW offshore wind farm will not only be the largest offshore wind farm, but also the first offshore wind farm to exceed 1,000 MW in capacity. The next closest largest offshore wind farm is the planned 660 MW Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm which, unsurprisingly, is also being developed by DONG Energy.

DONG Energy acquired the rights to the Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm from the SMart Wind consortium in February of 2015. Later that year, in August, DONG Energy acquired the remainder of the Hornsea offshore wind development zone, as well as the project rights to Hornsea Project Two and Three, which have a potential additional 3 GW offshore wind power capacity.

“We have already invested around £6 billion in the UK, and the Hornsea Zone provides us with new exciting development opportunities, not least because of the sheer size of the project in terms of acreage as well as the high generation potential,” said Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President in DONG Energy, in August. “This will help us in our committed efforts to reduce costs of electricity and maintaining our position as global leader in offshore wind beyond 2020.”

DONG Energy has made a habit of being involved with offshore wind farms of every size, but especially the big ones. DONG Energy is one of four consortium owners of the world’s current largest offshore wind farm, the 630 MW London Array, which just this past December set a monthly generation record of 369,000 MWh of electricity, smashing the previous record of 317,000 MWh set a month earlier in November.

Hornsea Project One will take advantage of a fixed tariff for the first 15 years of electricity production, which is expected to begin sometime in 2020. The project is also the final stage of DONG Energy’s plans to deliver 6.5 GW of offshore wind by 2020.

“We are excited about building this huge wind farm and pushing the boundaries of the offshore wind industry,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO of DONG Energy. “Hornsea together with Race Bank, Westermost Rough, and Lincs will make up a giant production area off the British east coast, supporting our efforts to deliver green and independent energy to society.”

“Our decision to construct this giant wind farm underlines our commitment to the UK market,” added Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy UK’ Country Chairman. “Hornsea Project One will support the supply chain and help create local jobs. To have the world’s biggest ever offshore wind farm located off the Yorkshire coast is hugely significant, and highlights the vital role offshore wind will play in the UK’s need for new low-carbon energy.”

Big Farm, Big Opportunity

DONG Energy’s announcement has unsurprisingly been greeted by those within the industry. Commenting on the news, RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Maf Smith, said:

“Today’s decision is an important step in making this historic project a reality; it signals the start of creating a new landmark in the North Sea. Its size is guaranteed to bring a multitude of benefits to the UK, in particular, a huge amount of inward investment and the creation of local jobs on the east coast of England. This offshore wind farm will play an important part in meeting our Paris climate commitments, but will also help create the new energy infrastructure this country desperately needs.”

The UK’s Energy Secretary Amber Rudd also offered her own praise of the project, while also taking the chance to pat herself and her government on the proverbial-back.

“Thanks to Government support the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy and this success story is going from strength to strength,” Ms. Rudd said. “Dong Energy’s investment shows that we are open for business and is a vote of confidence in the UK and in our plan to tackle the legacy of under-investment and build an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century.

“This project means secure, clean energy for the country, jobs and financial security for working people and their families, and more skills and growth boosting the Northern Powerhouse.”

Located 120 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast of the UK, Hornsea Project One covers approximately 407 square kilometers and will be populated by Siemens 7.0 MW wind turbines, generating the equivalent electricity necessary to meet the needs of 800,000 UK households.

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