The world’s largest offshore wind farm has officially commenced operations and started generating electricity for more than 287,000 UK homes.
The record-breaking Hornsea One wind farm is located 75 miles (120 kilometers) off the coast of Grimsby, England.
The huge scale of the project means that operations are beginning before construction is complete. As of right now, only 50 of the 174 turbines are operational, and turbine installation is expected to continue until the end of summer.
Once the farm is fully operational next year in 2020, the wind farm will be able to power well over a million UK homes with clean electricity, which is more than twice the energy capacity of the previous wind farm to hold the world record.
“The start of operations at the world’s largest wind farm at Hornsea One is an important milestone and yet another example of British innovation and the UK’s leadership in offshore wind,” said Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore in a statement.
“We already have the largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world, and once fully up and running this wind farm will provide enough power for one million more homes, putting us well on the way to our target of a third of the UK’s electricity coming from offshore wind by 2030.”
Earlier this week, Scandinavian energy company Ørsted ferried out the project’s first of two operational teams to begin operating and maintaining the wind farm 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout its 25-year life-span.
The teams will each spend two weeks at a time offshore, staying on a state-of-the-art Service Operations Vessel (SOV), equipped with 40 cabins, a game room and even a gym.
“There is even 4G internet connection already out there – a huge feat given the distance from shore,” added David Coussens, the Deputy Operations Manager for Hornsea One who is currently leading the first operational team shift. “I am really looking forward to our first two-week shift.”
Morten Holm, Hornsea One’s Head of Operations, said: “Hornsea One changes the game in the way we produce clean electricity around the globe. It’s the first of a new generation of offshore wind farms, that are much bigger than anyone has ever attempted to build before.
“The speed of construction has been phenomenal, and it’s thanks to the hundreds of dedicated people working on the project, that the project is on schedule to eventually generate enough clean electricity for over a million homes across the UK. It’s an exciting moment for me personally, but also for the UK as the world watches the progress with this record-breaking wind farm.”
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