9 October, 2023
The Cool Down, By Leo Collis

What will reportedly soon be the world’s largest offshore wind farm marked its first major milestone in September with the completed installation of a pair of 13-megawatt turbines, according to Electrek.

A statement on the website of Dogger Bank — which is 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire in England — when installation began, said General Electric developed the technology, and the Hailade-X turbines are 853 feet tall and feature 351-foot blades.

The statement said that each turn of the turbine’s blades will provide enough energy to power an average UK home for two days.

The completed development, which will be nearly the size of Greater London, according to the statement, will feature 277 turbines and have the potential to generate enough pollution-free power equivalent to the needs of six million homes.

When efforts commenced to put the turbines in place, the CEO of General Electric Vernova’s Offshore Wind business, Jan Kjaersgaard, hailed the collaboration between the partners involved and described his hopes for the completed development.

“Together our teams are making a real contribution to the UK’s ambitious offshore wind goals by helping to bring clean, renewable energy online,” he said.

The UK government has committed to deliver 50 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, with five gigawatts expected to come from floating wind sites. Additionally, it aims for 50% of the country’s renewable energy generation to come from wind power.

According to OGV Energy, citing data from global technology firm ABB, the UK needs 24 more wind farms online in the next seven years to achieve those goals.

However, the government has experienced a bit of a hiccup on the way to those ambitions, with an auction process to invite developers to create offshore wind farms in the country seeing no bids in September, per Reuters. Cost increases were seen as the biggest barrier to investment, as price caps have been reduced from £46 (about $56) per megawatt-hour to £44 (about $54) per megawatt-hour.

A statement from energy campaign group Britain Remade, published by Reuters, said: “By capping the price the sector could bid at too low, [the] government set it at a level that made it impossible for investors to meet their costs.”

But the Dogger Bank development is still a significant boost for the UK’s clean-energy production. A spokesperson told Upstream Online the site should have “full wind farm operation” by the summer of 2024.