The Peterlee boss of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm HQ in South Tyneside celebrated the first electricity from the world’s largest offshore wind farm arriving in England this week.
The electric current, which arrived from 130 kilometres out in the North Sea was recorded immediately at the new operation centre in South Shields and fed directly into the national grid.
And Peterlee-born operations manager Mark Halliday, who is in day-to-day charge of the running of the wind farm, confirmed: “We are thrilled to celebrate first power at Dogger Bank – a testament to the collective effort, dedication, and expertise of our team, partners, and supply chain.
“This milestone marks the beginning of a new chapter as we now embark on the exciting journey of operating Dogger Bank, powered from our state-of-the-art base at the Port of Tyne in the heart of North East England.
“The first power generation at Dogger Bank is not only a momentous milestone for renewable energy in the UK, but it also holds immense economic potential for the region, creating jobs and driving sustainable growth.”
The arrival of the opening volts marks a new era in renewable energy for the UK and was a proud moment for the team at the centre who have spent the last year gearing up for the moment they began tracking and monitoring electricity being generated by the gigantic project.
The wind farm itself covers an area nearly the size of Greater London and sits on a seabed that once formed a land bridge between the UK and Europe.
More wind turbines will now be installed continuously and next year the company hopes to fully commission the first phase – Dogger Bank A – in the summer of 2024 which will see 1.2GW generated – enough to power up to two million homes.
Over the following two years will come the next two phases – Dogger Bank B should be commissioned in 2025 and Dogger Bank C in 2026 – by which point the wind farm will be generating 3.6GW power – enough to supply six million homes.
Dogger Bank has created more than 400 long-term highly skilled, highly paid jobs in the region.
The 260m tall turbines – almost twice the height of the London Eye – will be installed around 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire using a specialist vessel with a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes, the largest of its kind in the world.
The windfarm infrastructure work is being carried out by SSE Renewables and its CEO, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said: “Offshore wind projects of this size are now mainstream and will help turbocharge the transition to the cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy system we all want to see.”
Olav Hetland, the CEO of farm developer Vargronn, the company which operates the specialist vessel installing turbines, said: “Dogger Bank now cements the North Sea’s new role as Europe’s renewable power plant and as the home to a world-leading offshore wind supply chain.”