Equinor (formerly Statoil and StatoilHydro) and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the world’s largest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank, have just revealed plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance Base at the Port of Tyne in the UK.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a 50:50 Joint Venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables.
Construction of the wind farm, led by SSE Renewables, officially commenced in January 2020 and as operator for the operations phase, Equinor will construct this new Operations and Maintenance base, and operate the wind farm for its expected life of more than 25 years.
The overall wind farm comprises three 1.2GW phases, with each phase located more than 130km from the North East coast of England. Once fully operational it will be able to provide enough renewable electricity for over 4.5 million homes every year – around 5 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand.
The new multi-million-pound facility, which includes both office space and a warehouse, will be the onshore base for Equinor’s teams ensuring the efficient operation of the wind farm.
The flagship project is expected to generate over 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is estimated to trigger a total capital investment of approximately GBP 9 billion between 2020 and 2026.
Today Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharm, said: “This new facility is fantastic news for Tyneside and the North East of England. Renewable energy is one of the UK’s great success stories, providing over a third of our electricity and thousands of jobs.”
“Projects like Dogger Bank will be a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Senior Vice President for Equinor’s North Sea New Energy Solutions and Chair of Renewable UK, Stephen Bull, said that the North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne.
“With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities,” Mr Bull commented.
“We are extremely proud that our skilled teams will operate the world’s largest offshore wind farm from here and look forward to becoming part of the community, and strengthening our low-carbon commitment to the North East.”
Paul Cooley, SSE Renewables Director of Capital Projects, said: “The announcement today cements SSE Renewables’ and Equinor’s commitment to developing long term jobs and economic benefit in the UK and we are very pleased to welcome the Port of Tyne to the project.”
“The Operations and Maintenance base will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the local area during construction and throughout the projects lifetime, as we have seen on our previous offshore wind projects including Beatrice,” he said.
“Dogger Bank will help drive the transition to a net-zero future and we are continuing our work to construct the largest offshore wind farm in the world safely.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Tyne, Matt Beeton, added that they are ‘absolutely delighted’ to have been selected by Equinor and SSE Renewables as the port of choice to house the Operations and Maintenance base for the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
“This is clearly a very important milestone in attracting such leading names in offshore power generation to the Port but it’s also extremely important for the wider region in terms of local supply chain and employment opportunities,” Mr Beeton said.
“The Port recently launched its ‘Tyne 2050’ plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030. Offshore wind is a key component of that strategy and this announcement is a huge step towards developing a cleaner future for the Port, the region and for industry in the North East.”
“We’re very excited to start working with Equinor and SSE Renewables to make this base a success and we’re looking forward to playing our part in the world’s largest offshore wind farm,” he stated.
About Dogger Bank Wind Farm:
- A 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables
- Final investment decision on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B will be made in late 2020 with FID for Dogger Bank C being made in 2021
- Consent was granted in 2015.
- Located in the North Sea, with each phase more than 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.
- Each phase of the project (Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C) will have an installed capacity of 1.2GW and will be able to power 1.5 million homes. Together, they can provide approximately 5 per cent of the UK’s estimated electricity generation.
- The first phase, Dogger Bank A, is expected to be operational in 2023.
- The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations. Preferred supplier will for foundation fabrication will be announced in 2020.
- The transmission system will be High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) due to long distance to grid connection point.