World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm In UK To Power 1.6 Million Homes

The world's largest offshore wind farm rising out of the North Sea off the eastern coast of England will come online in 2022.

Project 2 (or Hornsea Two) of the Hornsea Wind Farm will provide 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of power to the British electricity grid. This massive supply from Hornsea Two will meet the electricity needs of up to 1.6 million British homes a year, according to Ørsted A/S, the Danish company building Hornsea Two. Ørsted is the largest offshore wind farm company in the world and the largest power producer in Denmark.

The company said turbine installation at Hornsea Two is expected to begin in 2021. Once operational in 2022, Hornsea Two will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world -- but only until the much larger Hornsea Three becomes operational by the middle of the next decade. Hornsea Three will provide electricity to more than 2 million homes.

Hornsea Two and Three are part of the much larger Hornsea Wind Farm under construction in the North Sea. The wind farm and its four projects will have a total capacity of up to 6 GW when completed.

The United Kingdom is its biggest market for offshore wind in the world. There are now 37 offshore wind farms operating in the U.K., as per Ørsted. This makes Britain the biggest offshore wind market in the world. Ørsted will have invested $15 billion (£12 billion) in the wind sector by 2020. It's built 25 offshore wind farms thus far across Europe, the United States and Asia.

With a capacity of 1.2 GW, Hornsea One began supplying power to the U.K. national electricity grid in February 2019. Full completion of this mammoth project is expected in the first quarter of 2020. As of May 2019, 28 turbines out of 174 had been installed. The final turbine was installed in October.

Hornsea One will generate nearly twice the power of Ørsted's Walney Extension, which is currently the largest offshore wind farm in the world. It will supply one million U.K. homes with clean electricity. Hornsea One is located 120 kilometers (75 miles) off England's Yorkshire coast. It consists of 174 7-MW wind turbines, with each tower nearly 100 meters tall. Just a single rotation of one turbine can power the average British home for an entire day, accprding to Stefan Hoonings, senior project manager at Ørsted.

The Hornsea Wind Farm and its three phases will take the U.K. closer to its goal of hitting its target of deriving a third of the country's electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

Apart from being the world’s largest offshore wind farm, it will also use the world’s longest high-voltage AC offshore wind export cable system with a length of more than 900 kilometers to bring energy into the British national grid.

Offshore, the wind farm consists of three wind generating stations, two accommodation platforms, five HVAC substations and a HVAC reactive compensation substation. Onshore, there is a substation, underground cables, core buildings and compounds.

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