Hornsea 2: World’s largest offshore windfarm goes on stream off Yorkshire coast

·2-min read
Hornsea 2 (Ørsted)
Hornsea 2 (Ørsted)

The world's largest offshore wind farm has gone operational off the coast of East Yorkshire on Wednesday morning.

The Hornsea 2 project will generate enough energy to power more than 1.3 million homes.

The vast development – built by Danish energy firm Ørsted – covers an area four times the size of Liverpool with each of its 165 turbines standing some 200m tall. A single rotation from just one blade is said to be enough to power a home for a whole day.

"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 UK but globally,” said Duncan Clark, head of Region UK at Ørsted.

He added: “Not only will Hornsea 2 provide low cost, clean energy for millions of homes in the UK, it has also delivered thousands of high-quality jobs and billions of pounds of investment in the UK’s offshore wind supply chain."

The biggest windfarm before Hornsea 2 was neighbouring Hornsea 1.

But, with even larger projects already being built in the North Sea, it is unlikely to retain its crown too long. Further north, a development at Dogger Bank will be able to power 6 million homes soon after it comes on stream next year.

A Hornsea 3 is also planned that will generate roughly twice the power of Hornsea 2.

The opening comes as Britain faces both a winter of devestating energy price rises sparked by global gas prices and increasing calls to focus on renewable energy in the face of teh growing climate crisis.

It also comes on the day that Russia suddenly halted gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline – further highlighting, many commentators say, the need for Western Europe to have its own renewable energy sources.

The Russian state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, said the restrictions – which will last three days – were needed for repairs, but the move has been widely interpreted in Europe as an act of energy warfare.

Mr Clark said: "Current global events highlight more than ever the importance of landmark renewable energy projects like Hornsea 2, helping the UK increase the security and resilience of its energy supply and drive down costs for consumers by reducing dependence on expensive fossil fuels."

Ørsted, itself, now has 13 operational offshore wind farms in the UK, providing 6.2 GW of renewable electricity for the UK – enough to power more than 7 million homes.