The waters surrounding the UK have long played home to some of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy projects, with a line of off-shore wind farms one-upping each other over the years to assume the mantle as the world’s largest. The title will soon be changing hands once again, with construction now underway at Dogger Bank, a gigantic off-shore wind power facility being built to outsize them all.
As a sign of how quickly things are moving when it comes to wind power in the UK, consider that the 500-MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, with its 140 turbines, was the world’s largest when it entered operation in 2008. The London Arrray with its 175 turbines and 630 MW capacity usurped it in 2013, before an extension of the Walney off shore wind farm outstripped it in 2018, with a set of 189 turbines and capacity of 659 MW.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm near the coastal village of Ulrome in England is set to dwarf them all, with a capacity totaling 3.6 GW. A joint project between energy companies SSE Renewables and Equinor, the farm will actually be made up of three wind farm sites in the North Sea, generating 1.2 GW apiece.
At the center of the energy generation will be the world’s most powerful wind turbine, the GE Renewable’s Haliade-X. This turbine stands 260 meters (853 ft) tall and features three 107-meter (351-ft) blades, the longest off-shore blades ever made. Together, SEE Renewables says these turbines will provide enough power for more than 4.5 million homes every year, or around five percent of the UK’s estimated electricity demand.
Construction is now underway, including vegetation clearing and roadworks for the onshore facility, which requires around 32 km (20 mi) worth of cabling. The project is slated for completion in 2022, with the team hoping to achieve first power in 2023.
“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,” says Steve Wilson, Managing Director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms.