One down, 173 to go! Ørsted marks first monopile installation for Hornsea Project One

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 26 Jan 2018

EMERGING from the deep, having been driven down from above, the first monopile has been installed on what will become the world’s biggest wind farm, Hornsea Project One. 

Weighing in at 800 tonnes, it is 65m long and 8.1m wide, and there are a further 173 to follow, providing the strength and sturdy foundation for the 190m structures. For every one, the bright yellow transition piece, above-water tower, nacelle and blades will all follow to make up the entire turbine installation, ending up higher than The Gherkin in London.

As reported, the carefully choreographed and GPS-led work is being carried out by GeoSea’s jack-up vessel Innovation, working closely with the world's leading developer of offshore wind, Ørsted. It will carry up to four monopiles at a time, the first load having been brought north west from Flushing, Holland. 

After arriving at the site, 120km off the East Yorkshire coast, a team of five workers were flown out from Humberside Airport

In March, Innovation will be joined by A2Sea’s vessel Sea Installer which will share the task of transition piece installation. 

Duncan Clark, pictured left, Ørsted’s programme director for the project, said: “After years of planning and preparation it is fantastic to see the initial stages of offshore construction begin. My thanks to the teams working day and night on this significant milestone. 

“Onshore alongside substation and cable installation, we are now developing the East Coast Hub which will serve as an operations and maintenance base for our existing wind farms in the area and both Hornsea Project One, and Project Two for which we took a final investment decision on last year. 

“These wind farms will not only greatly contribute to the UK’s goal of decarbonising our energy system, they are also bringing jobs and investment to Grimsby and the North East.”

A total of 500 jobs are being created by the Danish giant as it builds out a strong pipeline of projects off the Humber.  

When fully operational, expected in 2020, Hornsea Project One will produce enough power for well over one million homes. 

Last September Hornsea Project Two achieved a record-breaking low subsidy and has also been committed to construction, with a third project going through the final consultation phases ahead of being submitted for planning consent

Having first developed Westermost Rough, and subsequently taken over the operation and maintenance of the Centrica-led, then sold, Lincs, Ørsted has just completed Race Bank installation, with final works ongoing.  The team expect to officially open it later this year.

The installation comes four years to the day since the first piece was erected on Westermost Rough, by the same vessel.

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