Norwegian oil firm building world’s largest offshore wind farm in UK

Norwegian (still mostly oil & gas) firm Equinor last year changed its name from Statoil to Equinor to reflect its strategy to progress from being a pure-play oil and gas player to become a “broad energy major,” developing oil, gas, wind and solar power. It on Friday said it would work on the world’s largest offshore wind farm development, 30 km east of the Yorkshire Coast in the UK North Sea.

Offshore wind farm / Source: Equinor

In a statement on Friday, Equinor said that UK authorities had announced that Equinor and its partner SSE were awarded contracts to develop three large scale offshore wind projects in the Dogger Bank region of the North Sea.

“This will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm development with a total installed capacity of 3.6 GW. The projects are expected to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 4.5 million UK homes,” Equinor said.

The Dogger Bank wind farm will consist of three projects, Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B, and Teesside A. The clearing prices for the projects are GBP 39.650 per MWh for Creyke Beck A and GBP 41.611 per MWh for the Creyke Beck B and the Teesside A projects (all in 2012 real prices), Equinor said.

The first project is expected to be operational in 2023, and the lease is given for 50 years. The Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) are expected to be 10+ MW, installed on monopile foundations. The transmission system will be High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) due to the long distance to the onshore grid connection point. This will be the first use of HVDC for offshore wind in the UK.

“The auction results reflect the continued cost reductions and technological developments and the increasing competitiveness of bottom-fixed offshore wind. The contracts offer a fixed price for the first 15 years of operation, providing the projects with a long-term predictable revenue stream,” Equinor said.

Eldar Sætre, CEO of Equinor said:”The successful bids for the world’s largest offshore wind development represent a game-changer for our offshore wind business and support the development of Equinor as a broad energy company. A full-scale development of Dogger Bank will constitute an industrial wind hub in the heart of the North Sea, playing a major role in the UK’s ambitions for offshore wind and supporting the net-zero ambition. Excellent wind speeds, shallow waters and scale make Dogger Bank well positioned to deliver low cost renewable electricity to UK homes and businesses.

Wind-powered offshore oil platforms

Equinor, which in 2018 increased oil and gas production and delivered a record high reserve replacement ratio, has offshore wind farm interests and projects in the UK, Germany, USA, Poland, Norway, and South Korea – some producing, some under development.

While not a pure-play wind farm company, Equinor is still a pioneer in certain parts of the offshore wind industry. Namely, Equinor in 2017 brought online the Hywind Scotland, the first floating wind farm in the world. The company has also developed Batwind battery storage solutions making it possible to store energy produced from an offshore wind farm.

Furthermore, Equinor is working to deploy a floating wind farm project in Norway – the Hywind Tampen – which could be the world’s first floating offshore wind farm supplying renewable power to offshore oil and gas installations. Equinor and its partners are considering the possibility of supplying electricity from a floating offshore wind farm to the Gullfaks and Snorre fields.

In South Korea, Equinor and the country’s national oil company KNOC are working on a 200MW floating wind farm to be located close to the KNOC-operated Donghae natural gas field off the coast of Ulsan, The consortium will carry out a feasibility study for the wind farm, including use of the Donghae 1 platform as a substation for a possible wind farm.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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