The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Will Power More Than 1 Million Homes
Danish utility Dong Energy announced Wednesday that it will build the world's largest offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast of the UK. With a 1.2-gigawatt capacity, the Hornsea Project One will be the world's first offshore wind farm to exceed one gigawatt in capacity, making it the world's largest by a "considerable margin," the company said.
The project is expected to power more than a million homes when fully commissioned in 2020.
"Hornsea Project One is a world-leading infrastructure project being built right here in the UK," Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy UK's country chairman, said. "It is ground-breaking and innovative, powering more homes than any offshore wind farm currently in operation."
“To have the world’s biggest ever offshore wind farm located off the Yorkshire coast is hugely significant, and highlights the vital role offshore wind will play in the UK’s need for new low-carbon energy,” Cheshire added.
Offshore wind technology is advancing at a rapid pace. And the UK has seen impressive growth both in onshore and offshore wind energy production in recent years. The UK has more installed offshore wind than any other country.
"The UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy and this success story is going from strength to strength," Amber Rudd, UK secretary of state for energy and climate change, said. "The investment shows that we are open for business and is a vote of confidence in the UK and our plan to tackle the legacy of under investment and build an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century.”
"This project means secure, clean energy for the country, jobs and financial security for working people and their families, and more skills and growth boosting the Northern Powerhouse," Rudd added. The project will create an estimated 3,000 jobs during the construction phase and an additional 300 permanent jobs.
Offshore wind was the only major renewable energy source not to face cutbacks in subsidies in the past year, Bloomberg Business noted. However, the UK wind industry as a whole took a hit last year when the government ended subsidies for onshore wind. "While offshore wind is still favored by ministers, the blow to onshore wind—which is much cheaper, and when carbon emissions are taken into consideration is cheaper than traditional fossil-fuel forms of generation—has been a cause of concern to wind investors," The Guardian said. "The potential investment into wind turbine manufacturing factories, much vaunted under the coalition government, has been called into question."
The Hornsea project is "a major step forward," RenewableUK, which represents the UK’s wind power industry, told The Guardian.
“[This] is an important step in making this historic project a reality," Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, said. "It signals the start of creating a new landmark in the North Sea. Its size is guaranteed to bring a multitude of benefits to the UK, [such as] a huge amount of inward investment and the creation of local jobs. It will play an important part in meeting our commitments [under the Paris agreement on climate change and] help create the new energy infrastructure this country desperately needs.”
The project will use 7-megawatt wind turbines built by Siemens in their new turbine production facility in Hull, and UK infrastructure company Balfour Beatty will construct the onshore substation.
As part of the project, Dong Energy will build the longest offshore wind farm high-voltage AC electrical system in the world. This system, which includes about 560 miles of cables, will take the electricity produced by the wind turbines, transmit it to shore and then feed it into the national grid.
Onshore construction work will start immediately, with offshore work scheduled to begin in 2018. Power generation from the site is expected in 2019, with the project fully commissioned by 2020, Henrik Poulsen, chief executive officer of Dong Energy, said.
The company plans to install 6.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020 and invest $8.7 billion in UK offshore wind by 2020. Cheshire said last month that neither a British departure from the European Union nor the precipitous drop in oil prices will derail its plans.
The project is massive and boasts a number of firsts. It will take up an area larger than Malta, and it is the first time a wind farm has been built so far from shore.
To learn more, watch this video:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."