Energy provider Ørsted announced today that the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has awarded the company a contract for difference (CfD) for the world’s single biggest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 3.

Located 160 km from the Yorkshire coast, Ørsted’s Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm will have a capacity of 2,852 MW and the potential to produce enough clean, renewable, low-cost electricity to power 3.2 million UK homes.

Martin Neubert, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Commercial Officer at Ørsted, said: 

“Offshore wind once again proves itself as a homegrown source of clean energy at large scale that will help the UK achieve its climate targets and increase energy independence while creating local jobs and industrial development.”

Under the contract, Ørsted will build Hornsea 3 including transmission assets, such as offshore and onshore substations and export cables. When the wind farm has been fully commissioned, Ørsted will divest the transmission assets to a new owner. The CfD for the wind farm runs for up to 15 years starting after the commissioning of the wind farm, which is planned for 2027. 

According to Ørsted, Hornsea 3 will play a key role in the development of a larger UK supply chain to support the next phase of the UK’s offshore wind success. Additionally, Hornsea 3 will also contribute to the UK Government’s ambition of having 50 GW of offshore wind in operation by 2030, which was announced earlier this year as part of the British Energy Security Strategy. 

Duncan Clark, Head of Region UK at Ørsted, said:

“This is another landmark for offshore wind in the UK. Not only will Hornsea 3 provide low-cost, clean energy for millions of homes in the UK, it will also deliver thousands of high quality jobs and billions of pounds of investment in the UK’s offshore wind supply chain.”

In June 2021, Ørsted announced a target to grow its renewable energy capacity to 50 GW by 2030 and stated that it expects roughly 30 GW to come from offshore wind, 17.5 GW from onshore wind and solar PV and 2.5 GW from other renewables. According to the company, Hornsea 3 will contribute to its 2030 ambition of globally installing 30 GW of offshore wind.

When the project comes online, the Hornsea zone – comprising Hornsea 1, 2, and 3 – will have a total capacity of in excess of 5 GW, making it the world’s largest offshore wind zone covering the power consumption of about 5 million UK homes. The zone will also include the Hornsea 4 project, which could have a capacity of about 2.6 GW and is currently going through the planning process.

Clark, added:

“Successive governments deserve credit for providing the regulatory and policy certainty for continued investment in offshore wind – Ørsted alone expects to further invest around 14 billion pounds in the UK to the end of this decade. This has allowed the cost of offshore wind to fall rapidly and to become the thriving industry it is today, with private companies expected to invest 155 billion pounds and almost 100,000 people to be employed in the sector by 2030.”

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