The first of four 'jackets' has been installed at the Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm site by Orsted, 120km off the coast of Yorkshire. The foundation will support a massive 2800-tonne structure, known as a 'topside', to form an offshore substation.
When completed in 2020 Hornsea Project One will be the biggest wind farm in the world, capable of supplying electricity to well over one million homes.
Each jacket weighs around 1500 – 1700 tonnes, around 250 times as heavy as an elephant. The wind farm will consist of 174 wind turbines, three substations and due to the distance from shore, a Reactive Compensation Station (RCS). The offshore substations convert the clean electricity from the wind turbines’ medium voltage cables to high voltage, so it can be exported with fewer losses. The electricity is then transferred via the RCS to the UK National Grid. Having the RCS enables transmission with High Voltage Alternating Current through much longer cables than would otherwise be possible.
The current largest wind farm is London Array, 630MW. Hornsea Project One will have a capacity of nearly double that 1.2GW – and will be the first wind farm ever with a capacity above 1GW.