With a 1.2 GW capacity, Hornsea Project One will be the world's largest wind farm and is set to power one million homes in the UK. Image Credit: Volodimir Zozulinskyi/Shutterstock.com
Ørsted opened the world’s first offshore wind farm back in 1991 and is due to open the world's largest offshore wind farm in 2020. Seen as a world leader in offshore wind power production, Ørsted has succeeded in establishing the greatest production of this type of power than any other company, accounting for a quarter of all production. Two years ago, the company stationed the world's largest offshore wind turbines at Burbo Bank Extension.
Hornsea Project One will be located off the Yorkshire coast in the UK, covering 407 km2 and comprising 174 turbines. With its 1.2 GW capacity, the project is expected to generate enough power for one million homes.
Hornsea One is set to be inaugurated amid rising concerns surrounding global warming, the growing impact of emissions and the issue of the world’s depleting non-renewable energy supply. Global governments and agencies have set goals to help support the widespread adoption of renewables over non-renewables, and large-scale projects like Hornsea One will prove fundamental to the success of making the necessary switch.
A Four-Part Wind Power Project to Support the Shift to Renewable Power
The journey of the Hornsea One project began back in 2010, 10 years before the projected completion date, when the ‘Hornsea zone’ was awarded as part of the Offshore Wind Round 3 Programme by the Crown Estate. The following years saw various investments and work within local communities to solidify plans. By 2016, construction work began on the onshore part of the project, which will be completed this year, and offshore production began in 2018.
Hornsea Project One is one of four Hornsea Projects. In its entirety, the project will see four record-breaking offshore wind farms being constructed off the East Coast of the UK, in the North Sea. The projects will include turbines located further from the shore than previous ventures have achieved.
The importance of these four projects is that they will make a significant impact on the capacity being generated from renewable sources. It will provoke a shift in the widespread adoption of renewables, and demonstrate to other countries how wind power can be harnessed at a large scale.
Hornsea Two will closely follow the Hornsea One project, with an expected completion date of 2022. The second part of the project will generate even more power than Hornsea One, supplying enough energy for more than 1.3 million homes. Hornsea Three will expand on this further, with plans to create a wind farm large enough to power over 2 million homes. Finally, there will be Hornsea Four, and, although plans are currently in the development phase, it can be assumed that the final part of the project will continue to develop on the energy generation potential of the previous wind farms.
The World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm
Ørsted is putting a significant amount of effort into its Hornsea One project, creating a wind farm that will be considered the template of future wind farms that need to generate huge amounts of power. Each of the 174 turbines will reach a height of 190 m.
As well as being the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the project will also be using the world’s longest high-voltage AC offshore wind export cable system (more than 900km) to bring energy into the national grid.
Offshore, the wind farm encompasses 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.
Hornsea One Cable Laying
Source: J.Murphy & Sons Limited/YouTube.com
Hornsea One to Support the Shift from Fossil Fuels to Renewables
The Hornsea One project marks a significant moment in the story of humankind’s use of energy. This year, the UK saw a monumental switch in its energy consumption habits. For the first time since before the first fossil-fueled power plant opened in the country in 1882, the UK is getting the majority of its energy from renewable sources.
Large-scale renewable projects such as Hornsea One will be instrumental in managing this switch, providing enough energy to match growing consumption. Without ambitious projects such as these, the switch to renewable energy would not be facilitated on a widespread level.
Given that the population continues to grow, along with our energy consumption as technology continues to develop, the demand for power is only set to increase. With non-renewables out of the question for the energy landscape of the future, new projects that harness vast amounts of renewable power are key, and Hornsea One represents a big step in the right direction.
It is reported that the new wind farms established in the UK this year helped push the use of renewables past fossil fuels, a pivotal moment in the history of energy, helping to move the UK closer to its zero-carbon emission goal. Renewable sources now account for 40% of energy usage in the UK, representing the largest share. A decade ago, around 80% of energy was generated by fossil fuels, showing that renewables have already made rapid advancement in the last 10 years. However, more work needs to be carried out to reach the carbon-neutral goal.
Wind Power is Best Bet for Replacing Non-Renewables in the UK
Wind power accounts for the largest share of renewable energy production in the UK, at 20% of the entire energy usage. This is followed by renewable biomass and then solar panels.
The UK is well-positioned to harness wind power as it is located on the north-western edge of Europe where it is confronted by strong winds year-round. Scotland is considered the windiest location in Europe. Winter is known for being the windiest time of the year, which coincides with the period when most energy is consumed. These factors make wind power a suitable and reliable source of energy.
Harnessing this great potential to produce wind energy will play a key role in meeting the country’s future energy demands and carbon footprint goals. With the UK’s coal plants planned to close entirely by 2025, what happens over the next few years will likely pave the way for the future of energy usage.
In opening the largest wind farm, Hornsea One, together with the inauguration of the Beatrice wind farm this summer, offshore capacity will be doubled.
The Future of Renewables
Projects similar to Hornsea One will inevitably aid the UK’s shift from relying on fossil fuels to a carbon-neutral future. It is a huge step towards growing the capacity of wind power, which is the UK’s most suitable source for continuous renewable power. However, to keep up the pace, experts believe that government funding is required to help the UK keep up with the rapidly evolving technology, as well as to help the widespread adoption of wind power.
Read more about the UK's new Dogger Bank Wind Farm project.
References and Further Reading
How do wind turbines work? Good Energy. https://www.goodenergy.co.uk/how-do-wind-turbines-work/
The next frontier of wind power. Douglas Fraser. BBC News. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-50085071
Hornsea One. Powering one million homes with green electricity. Hornsea Project One. https://hornseaprojectone.co.uk/
Hornsea Projects. https://hornseaprojects.co.uk/
Our wind farms. Ørsted. https://orsted.co.uk/energy-solutions/Offshore-wind/Our-wind-farms
Hornsea Project One, North Sea. Power Technology. https://www.power-technology.com/projects/hornsea-project-one-north-sea/
Renewable electricity overtakes fossil fuels in UK for first time. The Guardian. Jillian Ambrose https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/14/renewable-electricity-overtakes-fossil-fuels-in-uk-for-first-time
Hornsea Project Two. Hornsea Projects. https://hornseaprojects.co.uk/Hornsea-Project-Two