The next level: How Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm will be built

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 10 Apr 2017

DETAILS of exactly how Dong Energy will deliver construction of the world's biggest wind farm have been revealed.

Hornsea Project One will enter the offshore build-out phase next year, and the company has now chosen Gulf Marine Services UK Ltd, based in Aberdeen, to provide offshore accommodation for workers.

Due to the location 120km off the Yorkshire coast, daily sailings from Grimsby are not feasible as has previously been the case, so instead two accommodation jack-up vessels will sleep up to 150 technicians in total. They will provide safe access via a static gangway to the three offshore substations and reactive compensation station.

As well as providing a place for those commissioning the substations to stay, one of the vessels will be fitted with a boat landing system, enabling safe transfers to crew transfer vessels, even when jacked up and without interference to operations on the substation.

This will create an offshore hub, allowing technicians working on other areas of the wind farm, such as the wind turbines, to stay on the same vessel.

LOCATION: Hornsea Project One's location in comparison to other Dong Energy insterests out of the Humber.

Duncan Clark, programme director at Dong Energy, said: “Hornsea Project One will become the world’s biggest wind farm by a long way, so we are having to innovate in all areas as we scale up our expertise from previous projects. It’s also the furthest wind farm from shore that we’ve built, presenting challenges that are new to this industry.   

“From many years of operating in the oil and gas industry, GMS have experience in ensuring that work in challenging offshore locations remains safe and efficient. As a UK company, much of their supply chain is UK based. Hornsea Project One has already awarded numerous multi million pound contracts to UK companies in an effort to develop the UK supply chain.”

The two highly sophisticated Self Elevating Support Vessels (SESVs) being supplied by GMS are less than five years old. 

The vessels are also self-propelled and dynamically positioned, which means they do not require the assistance of tugs or similar support vessels, making them significantly more cost-effective and time-efficient than conventional jack-ups without propulsion. They have a large deck space, crane capacity and accommodation facilities that can be adapted.

Duncan Anderson, CEO Gulf Marine Services Ltd, said: “The offshore hub will be an integral part of the logistic set up for Hornsea Project One. We are delighted to be supplying the global leader in offshore wind and applying our knowledge to this growing industry.

“On this project, we’re working with Dong Energy to adapt our vessels to better serve the offshore wind industry. This will bring benefit to both parties and give us an advantage for future offshore projects. By developing new business streams in renewable energy we’ve remained a leader in this competitive market.“

MORE: Dong Energy UK chairman Brent Cheshire announces retirement

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