World’s biggest offshore wind farm set to go ahead

CGI image of a General Electric wind turbine

Construction of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm is set to go ahead after energy firm SSE renewables reached financial close on the first phase of the scheme.

SSE and its joint venture partner Equinor are now proceeding with the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the north east coast of England. Once all three phases are complete by March 2026, it will be the largest in the world.

Each phase has a capacity of 1,200MW and will generate around 6,000GWh annually. In total, Dogger Bank will produce enough electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand.

Total investment in the first two phases of the project will be around £6bn and has already secured the creation of 320 new skilled jobs for the North East of England associated with the development and operation of the wind farm, with more to come as construction ramps up.

SSE Renewables is currently also leading the construction of the Seagreen offshore wind farm (1,075MW, SSE Renewables share 49%), which will be Scotland’s largest on completion, and the wholly-owned Viking wind farm (443MW).

Alistair Philips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: “We are proud to be leading on the construction and development of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which has been 10 years in the making. We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader. This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

“Achieving financial close for the first two phases of the world’s largest wind farm is a huge accomplishment and, alongside reaching Seagreen 1 financial close earlier this year, represents significant progress towards achieving our goal of trebling our renewable output by 2030.”

Pål Eitrheim, Equinor EVP of New Energy Solutions, said: “Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind. The extensive interest from lenders, underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor. As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea. Through the sheer scale of the project we have delivered record-low contract prices for the UK market, and as operator of the wind farm we will continue to deliver value to the UK for years to come.”

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  1. The completed 3 phases of the SSE Dogger Bank windfarm is claimed here to be a total of 4.6 GW (3 x 1.2 GW) or 4.03 TWh annually. In 2018 according to BEIS data, total UK electricity generation from all sources was 333 TWh and rising, so the claim that the 3 phases will generate 5% of UK electricity demand which was 9.99 TWh in 2018 is more than twice the 4.03 TWh claimed for this total windfarm, so the contribution of 4.03 TWh to the 2018 generation figures is more like 1.2% not 5%. All this assumes that the 4.03 TWh generation is the net amount allowing for variable wind and downtime for maintenance.

    In 2019 according to BEIS the UK’s total primary energy demand was 2,226 TWh which must all be supplied by green electricity by 2050. UK’s electricity generation in 2018 was only 333 TWh, so there is a long way to go to reach the 2050 target.

  2. Commendable effort

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