SSE is set to install the “world’s first” High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) at the Dogger Bank wind farm, the energy supplier said.
Dogger Bank is set to be the world’s largest wind farm, with each of it’s A, B and C phases to generate 1.2GW each. Each of the phases will have their own unmanned substation platform, which are being supplied by Aibel.
The platform at Dogger Bank A is fixed to the seabed at a depth of 28m and sits on a four legged steel jacket foundation. The platform installation was delivered by SSE’s principal contractor, Saipem.
The construction is the first unmanned HVDC and will be operated from shore and accessed only by a Service Operations Vessel. The substation will receive 1.2GW of AC power from Dogger Bank A and convert it to DC which will be sent to an onshore convertor station near Beverly, Yorkshire.
The HVDC uses will be the first project to use Hitachi Energy’s conversion technology to transmit electricity back to shore, minimising energy losses over long distances.
“The platform will be controlled from shore and by removing the need for personnel to stay on the platform meant it has been possible to eliminate elements such as the living quarters, helideck and sewage systems, resulting in a 70% reduction in weight (per megawatt) of the topside compared to previous platforms installed, and cost savings of hundreds of millions of pounds,” said Olly Cass, project director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
Cass said that work on the installation of turbine foundations was ongoing, and “later in Q2 specialist cable installation and support vessels will start to install the inter-array network of cables that will connect the turbines to the offshore platform to enable transmission of first power in the summer.”
SSE has also recently installed the world’s deepest offshore wind turbine foundations in its Seagreen windfarm off the Scottish coast. In the first half of 2022, the firm invested a record £1.7 billion in the renewables sector.
Most of this total, £1.1 billion, was spent on building and operating offshore and onshore wind farms, upgrading transmission and distribution networks as well as developing carbon capture and hydrogen storage technologies.