DONG Energy acquires 3GW Hornsea Zone

DONG Energy has acquired the Hornsea Zone, an offshore wind development with the potential to develop around 3GW of capacity, and its remaining projects.

The developer, which secured Project One in February, has now secured the rights to Project Two and Three. Hornsea Project One a 1,200 MW windfarm was acquired from Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Financial Services (SFS).

The Hornsea Zone off the coast of Yorkshire is one of the world’s biggest offshore wind development zones, covering an area more than twice the size of Greater London.

DONG Energy’s executive vice president Samuel Leupold said: “We have already invested around £6bn in the UK, and the Hornsea Zone provides us with new exciting development opportunities, not least because of the sheer size of the project in terms of acreage as well as the high generation potential.

“This will help us in our committed efforts to reduce costs of electricity and maintaining our position as global leader in offshore wind beyond 2020.”

Hornsea Project One, once completed, will be able to provide power for 800,000 British homes. The combined three projects have the potential to provide enough electricity to meet approximately 4% of all electricity demand in the UK and power three million homes.

The Hornsea Zone projects were issued in Round 3 of the Crown Estate’s offshore wind development strategy.

Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind at The Crown Estate, which manages the UK seabed, said: “We welcome today’s announcement that the Hornsea Zone will be taken forward by DONG Energy, who have a proven track record in developing and delivering offshore wind projects.”

Unlocking potential

The Hornsea Zone forms the biggest capacity in DONG Energy’s portfolio. Last year DONG’s West Duddon Sands offshore wind farm opened, delivering electricity to 280,000 homes.

West Duddon has a capacity of 389MW, small in comparison to the three projects in the Hornsea Zone. However it reached full power output more than two months early.

Billion pound industry

Last year, construction consultancy Barbour ABI claimed there was more than £81bn worth of renewable energy projects in the UK due to be completed by 2025, with wind farms accounting for 90% of projects.

Barbour ABI’s lead economist Michael Dall said: “With a number of these projects already confirmed and many more at early stages of planning, the future of renewable energy construction in the UK looks bright.”

Matt Mace

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