Power company Ørsted has announced the installation of its final wind turbine at Hornsea One offshore wind farm, more than 100km away from the Yorkshire coast, England. The installation of the last turbine completed the 174-array of turbines situated over 407 km2 of North Sea, with each 7MW turbine powerful enough to supply a UK home for over a day with each single rotation. After the installation of the final turbine, the project will undergo a commissioning period before it is officially inaugurated in 2020 as the world’s largest offshore wind farm. After its launch, the project will be able to generate over 1GW of electricity – enough to power well over one million UK homes.
Ørsted programme director for Hornsea One Duncan Clark said: “The milestone of this last turbine being installed only nine months after the first one was erected is just one small part of this record-breaking project. Hornsea One has truly paved the way for the next generation of offshore wind farms.”
“At the time of taking on the project, it’s scale and the technical pioneering required seemed a Herculean challenge, but a truly extraordinary effort from all those involved have managed to make this impressive feat of engineering the new norm,” Clark added.
The loadout of the turbines took place at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s factory in Hull, Yorkshire where the majority of blades were constructed. The components were then transported 120km out to sea by two specialist vessels, which provide a sturdy base for lifting – The Bold Tern, owned by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier and DEME Group’s Sea Challenger.
The main turbine components are a steel tower, three turbine blades and a nacelle which houses all generation components for the construction. The moving process included loading four turbines on to the vessel at a time and it took around 12 hours of precision working to install one turbine in full.
The offshore wind construction started in January 2018, when the first monopile foundation was installed by GeoSea’s installation vessel, Innovation. The execution of the project involved 8,000 contractors, suppliers and Ørsted employees working offshore at Hornsea One’s site.
Clark continued: “We have benefitted from fantastic working relationships with contractors and suppliers, and that includes vessel providers who have maintained a constant stream of communication to ensure that turbine installation has been concluded on time and within budget.”
Due to the distance from shore, the project required for the offshore construction team to stay based on site, 120km out to sea as to ensure the project was safe and to schedule in dynamic weather conditions. The employees had to live on board the GMS Endeavour for two weeks at a time, where they were provided with catering, laundry service, gym and internet.