Plans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm using the world’s most powerful turbines have been taken up a notch after GE announced its newly upgraded 13MW Haliade-X units would be used for the 3.6GW Dogger Bank project in the UK.
Dogger Bank is a 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables comprising three 1.2GW offshore wind farms located about 130km from the Yorkshire Coast, on a large sandbank in the North Sea.
GE Renewable Energy secured the contract to supply the project back in October of 2019 using its world-leading 12MW Haliade-X turbines, but this week revealed it would do so using 190 of the enhanced 13MW units.
The uprated 13MW Haliade-X features 107 metre-long blades and a 220 meter rotor and with just one spin can generate enough electricity to power a UK household for more than two days, GE says. The deployment at Dogger Park will mark the first time a 13MW turbine will be installed anywhere in the world.
“We are delighted to take the next step in developing the most advanced proven technology in the market,” said John Lavelle, the president and CEO of offshore wind at GE Renewable Energy.
“At GE, innovation is in our DNA, and that is why we continue to innovate, enhance and develop the Haliade-X platform to meet market demands to deliver offshore wind as a competitive and affordable source of renewable energy.
“In signing these agreements with Dogger Bank, our Haliade-X technology will now have an important role to play in the UK’s offshore wind ambitions (40GW by 2030) and greenhouse emission reduction to ‘net-zero’ by 2050,” Lavelle said.
As RenewEconomy has reported, the three Dogger Bank projects were each successful in the UK’s 2019 Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round, with one locking in a record low strike price of £39.65/MWh ($A72.55) and the other two a price of £41.611/MWh ($A76.13).
The more powerful turbines – requiring fewer to be installed across the entire project – stands to lower the cost of delivering the massive offshore wind farm further.
“Signing the contract with GE Renewable Energy is not just great news for Dogger Bank and GE, but for the wider offshore wind industry,” said Steve Wilson, Dogger Bank’s project director at SSE Renewables.
“These turbines are a true testament of how hard the offshore wind industry is working to continually innovate and drive down costs and we look forward to working with GE Renewable Energy to help us deliver the largest offshore wind farm in the world,” Wilson said.
British energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said projects like Dogger Bank were “absolutely crucial” to building back greener from the coronavirus pandemic – creating jobs, growing the economy and tackling climate change.
“I am thrilled to see so many green jobs on the way to the North East of England thanks to our world-leading offshore wind industry,” he said.
Roughly 120 skilled jobs will be created during construction of the wind farm, the proponents say, along with 120 skilled jobs during the maintenance phase.
Construction on the onshore infrastructure for the massive project kicked off in January of this year. Due to its size and scale, the wind farm is being built in three consecutive phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. First power generation is expected sometime in 2023 and, once fully commissioned, the entire project is expected to generate around 6TWh of electricity annually.