Offshore wind farms keep getting bigger and bigger. Ørsted, formerly DONG Energy, just began offshore construction on Hornsea Project One, the latest offshore wind project poised to claim the “world’s largest” trophy. The first of the plant’s 174 monopiles has been installed off the coast of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Hornsea Project One is expected to be operational in 2020, and it will produce power for more than one million homes.
Hornsea Project One is located around 75 miles off the coast of England. Monopiles, or support structures for the wind turbines, for the 1.2-gigawatt offshore wind farm are around 213-feet-long, with a 27-foot, diameter. Each weighs 800 metric tons.
Offshore marine engineering company GoSea is installing the monopiles with Innovation, an installation vessel able to transport as many as four monopiles at once.
Program director Duncan Clark said in a statement that they’re excited to see offshore construction start following years of planning. They’re also continuing to build an East Coast Hub, which will act as a maintenance and operations base for their existing wind farms nearby and Hornsea Projects One and Two – which they “took a final investment decision on last year.”
“These wind farms will not only greatly contribute to the UK’s goal of decarbonizing our energy system, they are also bringing jobs and investment to Grimsby and the North East,” Clark said.
Hornsea Project One and Hornsea Project Two combined will produce enough electricity for more than 2.3 million homes in the UK.
Ørsted’s press release described the company as the biggest offshore wind farm developer in the world, with the UK as their largest market. They boast two operational wind farms off the nation’s east coast, Lincs and Westermost Rough. Another offshore wind farm, Race Bank, is slated to open later in 2018.