Construction work has now begun on Dogger Bank Wind Farms the largest offshore wind farm in the world, made up of three sites in the North Sea - Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B and Teesside A.
A joint venture between SSE and Equinor, the wind farm - based outside the coastal village of Ulrome in the East Riding of Yorkshire - will be able to generate enough renewable energy each year to power more than 4.5 million homes.
It’s expected that it will take approximately two years to complete the project, with the contract including vegetation clearance, the construction of temporary road access and the installation of pre and post-construction land drainage.
The onshore infrastructure will see the installation of about 20 miles of electrical cables within ducts, which will then be installed inside trenches and, as and when required, through drilling under existing infrastructure and natural obstacles.
Managing director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms Steve Wilson said: “Getting the first spade in the ground is a significant milestone on any project, but for what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, this is a major moment for a project that has already been over a decade in the making.
“Dogger Bank Wind Farms will play a critical role in the UK’s effort to achieve net-zero through the use of low-carbon fuel sources.”
Prep work for the project began in August 2018, with offshore geotechnical site investigations carried out across the three sites and the planned export cable corridor to further understanding of the ground conditions.
Offshore wind farm construction is complex and challenging, with many specialist vessels and expert crew members required to manage the work safely. The project will also see the turbine components installed on a foundation substructure, starting with the tower section before the nacelle can be attached and the blades installed.
The turbines then have to be connected to an offshore platform through interconnecting cables, with 300km of cables per wind farm required. Buried subsea cables must also be installed between each site and a landfall point in order to get the power from the farms to shore.
Recent figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show that in the third quarter of 2019, renewables accounted for a record 38.9 per cent of the electricity in the UK, surpassing as at 38.8 per cent.
The share of generation from fossil fuels fell to a record low of 40.1 per cent and high renewable generation also saw the share of generation from low carbon sources continue to rise, peaking at the record high of 57.3 per cent, even in the face of lower than usual nuclear generation.
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