The world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea Project Two, has received development consent from Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.
If completed, the wind farm’s 300 giant turbines, located 55 miles off the Yorkshire coast, will deliver up to 1.8GW of low carbon electricity to around 1.8 million UK homes. The project is being developed by SMartWind, owned by Danish firm DONG Energy, which is yet to make a final investment decision.
Hornsea Project Two dwarfs nearby North Sea wind farm schemes including Hornsea Project One (960MW+), Race Bank (573MW), Lincs (270MW), and Westermost Rough (210MW). All of these projects are wholly or partly owned by DONG Energy, 76% of which is owned by the Danish Government.
The project could create up to 1,960 construction jobs, and 580 operational and maintenance jobs. If built to full capacity, the investment would total around £6bn providing a great opportunity for economic growth in the Yorkshire and Humber region and the UK in general.
DONG Energy also owns the rights to develop Hornsea Project Three, which is it currently considering. Hornsea Three would be to the east of the first two phases of the project and could generate as much as 2.4GW, enough to power 2 million more UK homes.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK’s offshore wind industry has grown at an extraordinary rate over the last few years, and is a fundamental part of our plans to build a clean, affordable, secure energy system.
“Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we’re determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country.
“Located approximately 89km off the Yorkshire coast, the windfarm will comprise up to 300 wind turbines and will connect to the grid at North Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.
“The Government is making £730m of financial support available for renewable electricity generation this Parliament, sending a clear signal that the UK is open for business. We expect 10GW of offshore wind installed by the end of this decade and could see up to 10GW of new offshore wind in the 2020s as costs come down.
Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy's UK Country Chairman, said: "Development consent for Hornsea Project Two is very welcome. We have already invested £6 billion in the UK, and Hornsea Project Two provides us with another exciting development opportunity in offshore wind.
"Hornsea Project Two is a huge potential infrastructure project which could provide enough green energy to power 1.6 million UK homes. A project of this size will help in our efforts to continue reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind and shows our commitment to investing in the UK."
Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, said: "Offshore wind is already on course to meet 10% of the UK's electricity demand by 2020. Major developments of Hornsea Project Two's scale will pave the way for its continued growth alongside driving down costs, creating high value jobs, and supporting the UK's transition to a low carbon energy supply."