The world’s largest offshore wind farm has opened in the UK

Hornsea 2. Photo credit: Orsted.

By Anders Lorenzen

The Danish renewable energy giant Orsted has announced that the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 2, is now fully operational off the Yorkshire coast in the UK.

The wind farm project, which has a generating capacity of 1.3 gigawatts (GW), consists of 165 wind turbines located 89km offshore and spans an area of 462 sq. km. It is estimated to generate electricity for over 1.4 million UK homes. 

Each turbine blade is 81m long and blade tips reach more than 200m above sea level.

390km of subsea export cables take power generated from Hornsea 2 to the shore at Horseshoe Point in Lincolnshire.

An offshore wind mega generation area

The Hornsea area in the North Sea covers more than 2,000 sq km and is designated as a mega offshore wind generation area. 

Hornsea 2 is located in the so-called ‘Hornsea zone’, next to its sister project Hornsea 1. The two wind farms are jointly expected to generate electricity for 2.5 million UK homes. 

Hornsea 2 is expected to be joined by Hornsea 3 in the future, a wind farm project with a whopping generation capacity of 2.8 GW. 

With Hornsea 2, Orsted has firmly established itself as the dominant offshore wind superpower in the UK. The Danish company now operates 13 offshore wind farms in the country with a total generation capacity of 6.2 GW.

Patrick Harnett, Vice President UK Programme, Orsted, commented on the project: “This project has been an amazing endeavour. Building the world’s largest offshore wind farm during a global pandemic has been a challenge that the team have overcome with flying colours. I am so proud of how our team has worked together to safely deliver this remarkable project.” 

The UK is targeting at least 50 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Renewable energy advocates and campaigners have welcomed the UK’s ambition for offshore wind but underlined that they should invest more in onshore wind, the cheapest new form of energy in the UK.

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