The world's largest offshore wind farm, powering 1.4 million homes, is now live
Hornsea 2, the world's largest offshore wind farm located in the North Sea, has gone fully operational, a press release from its builder, Orsted, said.
In its bid to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the U.K. is banking heavily on wind-generated power. To this effect, it commissioned the Hornsea One project, which was the largest offshore wind farm in the world at the time of achieving fully operational status in 2020. Two years later, the Hornsea 2 project is fully operational and has claimed the bragging rights for being the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
The Hornsea 2
Located 55 miles (89 km) off the coast of Yorkshire, Hornsea 2 is adjacent to the Hornsea 1 project and is designed to tap into the strong winds of the North Sea and generate clean energy.
The project is housed in an area of 462 sq. km. equivalent to 64,000 football fields. Housed in this large area, about half the size of New York City, are 165 wind turbines sourced from the turbine maker Siemens Gamesa.
We have covered massive turbines, some of which the company can make with recyclable blades. However, for this project, the 8MW turbines have been used. The press release said that each turbine blade is 265 feet (81 m) long, and the blade tip reaches a height of 656 feet (200 m) above sea level.
One revolution of the turbine can power an average home in the U.K. for 24 hours, while the entire project will help power over 1.4 million homes in the U.K. with clean and renewable energy. A 242-mile (390 km) subsea cable will carry the power generated at Hornsea to the shore at Horseshoe Point in Lincolnshire.
The significance of the project
Hornsea 2 may have started as a project to provide greener energy, but in the current circumstances will end up being much more. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has raised energy prices in Europe while raising concerns about energy security. As a significant gas supplier to Europe, Russia is in a position to abruptly stop the energy supply to the region and wreak havoc on the industries and its people.
"Current global events highlight more than ever the importance of landmark renewable energy projects like Hornsea 2, helping the U.K. increase the security and resilience of its energy supply and drive down costs for consumers by reducing dependence on expensive fossil fuels," said Duncan Clark, Head of Region U.K. at Ørsted in the press release.
In such situations, offshore wind energy provides a viable alternative to energy concerns. "The UK is truly a world leader in offshore wind, and the completion of Hornsea 2 is a tremendous milestone for the offshore wind industry, not just in the U.K. but globally," Clark added.
Even large-scale facilities such as Hornsea 2 can be constructed in a relatively short period of time, and it is, therefore, not a surprise that the U.K. plans to follow up this project with Hornsea 3, a project with a 2.8 GW power generation capacity.
The U.K. also has ambitious plans to set up 50 G.W. offshore wind generation capacity by the end of this decade.
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