In Europe, the United Kingdom stands out as a prime destination for harnessing wind power, holding a prominent position globally as well. Notably, wind power is the largest source of renewable energy in the UK. As of 2023, the country boasted a remarkable count of over 11 thousand wind turbines, showcasing a combined capacity of 28GW. Split between onshore and offshore wind, the UK secured the sixth-highest capacity among all nations. The United Kingdom has a well-developed offshore wind industry that is expected to grow significantly in the upcoming years. The UK government has set a target to reach a capacity of up to 50 GW by the year 2030. In this article, we introduce the three largest operational (or soon to become operational) wind projects.
1) 3.6 GW Dogger Bank project
With a capacity of 3.6GW, the Dogger Bank will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm upon completion. It will be developed in the three phases A, B and C. Its turbines will be installed around 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast. The world’s largest offshore wind farm is being developed by the UK-based SSE Renewables in a joint venture with Norway-based Equinor and Vårgrønn. Once it’s online, the offshore wind farm will produce enough electricity to cover the consumption of 6 million homes every year. The 277 turbines will be installed over the next few years, with the three phases expected to become operational by 2026.
Location: 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast
2) 1.386 GW operational Hornsea 2 wind park
As of its completion in September 2022, Hornsea 2 is the largest operational offshore wind park in the world at its capacity of 1,386 MW. It was developed by Denmark-based renewable energy company Ørsted. The wind farm comprises 165 turbines that have the capacity to power 1.4 million U.K. households. The farm covers an area of 462 square kilometers which is more than half the size of New York City.
Location: roughly 89 kilometers (approximately 55 miles) off the coast of Yorkshire, England
3) 1.218GW offshore wind farm Hornsea 1
The last offshore wind park on our list was built from 2017 to 2019 and has been in operation since 2020. Its 174 turbines have a combined installed capacity of 1218MW. This project was also developed by Ørsted. Located 120 kilometers off Yorkshire coastline, it spans across 407 km². In late 2018, Ørsted sold 50% of the wind park to US-based investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).
Location: 120 kilometers off the Yorkshire coastline near Hull
Owner: Ørsted, Global Infrastructure Partners
Image: Carl Raw via Unsplash (04.08.2023)