The 100th monopile foundation has been installed at the Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, 89km north-east of Grimsby. Once completed and commissioned in 2022, the site will have 165 turbines, and will be the largest operating wind farm in the world, Off Shore Wind reports.
The new wind farm will be adjacent to Hornsea One, which opened in 2019 and is currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The site spans an area of 407 sq km, and uses 174 seven-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. It has a total capacity of 1.2 gigawatts (GW) and powers over one million UK homes with green electricity.
Work began on Hornsea Two in early October 2020, when DEME installed the first foundation in preparation for the turbines. The 165 Siemens Gamesa 8.4 MW turbines will have a capacity of 1.4GW, and will provide well over 1.3 million homes with green electricity once it becomes fully operational in 2022.
The work is being carried out by Danish power company Ørsted, and the majority of the 81-metre-long turbine blades are being made at the Siemens Gamesa factory in Hull. The monopile foundations are being loaded at and transported from the Buss Terminal Eemshaven in the Netherlands by DEME Group, using their jack-up vessels.
Siemens Energy have contracted local supplier Fussey Engineering to supply and install the steel framework and cladding at the National Grid 400kV substation site adjacent to the Hornsea Two site. 30 tonnes of locally sourced steel will be used to construct an annex building adjoining the National Grid substation in North Killingholme in Lincolnshire.
The substation annexe will house the switchgear which will allow the electricity feed to the national grid to be controlled. Ørsted are currently in the process of laying export cables in order to carry the power generated under the sea to the new substation. All the onshore cable installation has been completed, and the first phase of testing proved to be successful.
Despite the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic, the Hornsea Two project is on target for completion by 2022. Offshore Installation Manager Thomas Rosier commented:
“As with many major infrastructure projects, we have faced further challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the availability and readiness of materials and equipment. The pandemic has also reduced the ability of our colleagues and contractors to travel.”
“Over the past year, our approach to teamwork and collaboration has been redefined and is now entirely virtual, with video and written communication more important than ever. We have also used the services of the helicopters from Humberside airport to provide a more regular and convenient service to the worksite,” Rosier continued.
Ørsted have set up a range of community engagement projects through the East Coast Community Fund (ECCF) which was established in 2016. Over £1.85 million has now been awarded to over 140 groups in the local community, including food banks, charities, and community centres.
Annual ECCF grants worth around £465,000 are made available, with the latest round of funding applications set to close on 28 July 2021. There are some temporary adjustments to the criteria which will continue to apply, including the lifting of re-application restrictions, so any groups that have previously received a grant, or were unsuccessful, may reapply.
No match funding will be required for all applications. The changes were introduced to recognise the challenges faced by many communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Access to the grants has been made easier and over £500,00 has been awarded for projects directly related to the impact of Covid-19.
Consent for Hornsea Three offshore wind farm was received from The Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 31 December 2020. The site will be located close to the other Hornsea sites, 160km off the Yorkshire coast and 121 km off the Norfolk coast.
It is estimated Hornsea Three will provide clean electricity for over 2 million UK homes, with up to 231 wind turbines over a 696km2 area. It will be capable of generating at least 2,400 MW of green electricity. Over the site’s lifetime, Ørsted predict that this will offset over 128.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Ørsted are working closely with environmental and conservation groups to minimise the offshore impacts of Hornsea Three, including finding additional nesting habitats for kittiwakes.
Ørsted are currently planning to bring the offshore cables ashore at the landfall point near Weybourne in North Norfolk. If adequate levels of funding are received, it is hoped that work can commence on Hornsea Three as early as 2023.
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