Danish energy company Ørsted has taken final investment decision (FID) on Hornsea 3, a 2.9GW offshore wind farm, dubbed the “world’s largest”.
The project, which will build on the operational Hornsea 1 (1.2GW) and Hornsea 2 (1.3GW) offshore wind farms owned by the firm, is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2027. Hornsea 3 is located 160km off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea.
It is worth noting that the new addition of the third Hornsea offshore wind farm will make this the “world’s largest” offshore wind zone with a combined generation capacity in excess of 5GW. Ørsted received its development consent order (DCO) from the UK government for Hornsea 4 (2.6GW) earlier in 2023 and is now eligible for forthcoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation rounds.
On the topic of CfDs, Hornsea 3 was awarded an inflation-indexed strike price of £37.35/MWh in 2012 prices in July 2022.
Hornsea 3 is the latest large-scale offshore wind development in the UK, further cementing the nation’s position as a market leader in the global industry. For instance, SSE Renewables is expected to have its 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm, also situated in the North Sea, operational by 2026. It’s worth noting that this capacity could be further expanded with the energy company in talks to develop an additional D phase.
Both Dogger Bank A and B were successful in the 2019 CfD allocation round to be delivered in 2024/25 at £41.61/MWh.
German engineering company Siemens Gamesa will supply its SG 14-236 DD offshore wind turbines, which have a capacity of 14MW excluding power boost, for the Hornsea 3 project.
According to Mads Nipper, group president and CEO of Ørsted, the UK has an “attractive policy regime” which helped secure the investment decision in the project. This attractive policy could be crucial in maintaining the UK’s rank at the top of the leaderboard for its offshore wind pipeline.
Duncan Clark, head of Ørsted UK & Ireland indicated that this particular investment in Hornsea 3 will provide a “vote of confidence” for the UK offshore wind market and see “further investment in clean energy infrastructure and the UK supply chain”.