11th September 2017. The Danish energy group DONG Energy awarded a contract to build an offshore wind farm off theYorkshire coast. At 57,50 £/MWh, the strike price for the contract is 50% lower than two years ago. This confirms the significant reduction of costs across the industry. The project is called Hornsea Project Two, following the Hornsea Project One, currently under construction.
What is an offshore wind farm?
The offshore wind farm is nothing but a wind farm builton the sea. Usually the turbines are set up in shallow water off the coast. Places where the wind is strong and constant are preferred.
The advantageous conditions of the offshore wind farm (there are no obstacles) make these farms (for the same power) more efficient than the onshore ones.
The technology used for this kind of wind farm is not so different from the onshore one. In fact, horizontal-axis three-bladed wind turbines are used, usually with large power (up to 7 MW).
The most important difference is the presence of foundations in the sea, to anchor the power generators, and subsea electrical grids to transport the electricity on shore.
The biggest offshore wind farm
With its 1386 MW of set up power, the Hornsea Project Two will be the biggest offshore wind farm of the world, going beyond the 1200 MW of power of the Hornsea Project One!It will produce enough electricity to power over 1.3 million UK homes.
Some information about the plant that will be operative in 2022:
it will be built 89 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast;
the expected life time is 25 years: usually it is the duration of an investiment in this industry;
2000 new jobs are expected for the construction, and other130 permanent ones for the operational phase and for 25 years during the activity of the plant;
DONG Energy’s new operations hub in Grimsby will be built, which will be the largest facility of its kind in the UK;
Unlike the offshore wind projects Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, the Hornsea Project Two will also include the construction of offshore and onshore substations.
Matthew Wright, Managing Director for DONG Energy UK, said:
“This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the UK and a massive step forward for the industry. Not only will Hornsea Project Two provide low cost, clean energy to the UK, it will also deliver high quality jobs and another huge boost to the UK supply chain.”
What about the Economy?
The Hornsea Projects by DONG Energy about the offshore wind have created economies of scale. This means lower costs for the construction, and lower cost per MWh during a lifetime of maintenance.
Moreover, the installation of many plants leads to the development, and improvement of the technologies used (for the transmission of the energy with high-capacity cables, etc).
DONG Energy has already invested 6 billion dollars in UK. The aim of the energy group is to reach 12 billion in UK investiments by 2020.
Dottoranda in Industria 4.0 al Politecnico di Bari. Mi occupo di Smart Grid, e di come si possano coniugare fonti rinnovabili, mobilità elettrica e sistema elettrico. Autrice di #EnergyCuE da Luglio 2017. Sempre curiosa di nuove soluzioni tecnologiche per la produzione sostenibile di energia elettrica, mai stanca di imparare!
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