Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it the War of the Worlds coming at us from sea instead of sky?
Nope: it’s the largest wind turbines the world has ever seen — coming to Britain early next year.
The mega-turbines are set to be built across 80 miles of artificial island just off the Yorkshire coast at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. It’s a big deal: the gigantic renewable structures will power millions of homes across the UK.
Regular-sized turbines, meet Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.
The turbines themselves will be 220 metres high, bigger than two football pitches side-by-side or double the height of the London Eye. Each individual blade, meanwhile, will be over 100 metres in length — longer than Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty.
Every turbine will generate enough juice to power 16,000 homes each, according to the Guardian — about a third more powerful than existing turbines.
The UK is installing 3.6 Gigawatt of wind power generation on Dogger Bank, in the North Sea, offshore Yorkshire.— Michael Ekin Smyth (@SmythEkin) October 1, 2019
More power than produced by a nuke station.
And all three stages are slated to be up and operating within two to five years - a very fast build.
The plan is this: the new turbines will power 5% of the UK’s total electricity demand.
That’s enough to potentially power 4.5 million homes across the country — quadruple the power of the world’s current largest offshore wind farm that’s also located just off the Yorkshire coast.
The Dogger Bank wind farm will be built by French company GE Renewable Energy in a joint venture with Scottish and Southern Energy and Norweigan firm Equinor — and will replace the Hornsea One wind farm as the largest in the world once it starts producing electricity in 2023, with a total capacity of 3.6GW.
“Dogger Bank will now be home to the largest offshore wind turbines in the world and this pioneering low carbon technology which will play a central role in helping the UK become carbon neutral by 2050,” said Paul Cooley of co-developer SSE Renewable.
New UK Dogger Bank Project employs 300 of these monsters to generate power for over 4.5million UK homes, online 2023-25, years before Hinkley Point nuclear plant which has roughly same generation, and at half the price. https://t.co/Ed1OGbBjZw— harry benham (@harrybenham_1) October 1, 2019
Britain is already a world leader in offshore wind farms, controlling 36% of the world’s offshore wind capacity, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council 2018.
It’s growing all the time — mainly because it’s become one of the cheapest options for power. Indeed, Renewable UK reports that its cost has fallen by half since 2015.
Right now, wind power supplies about 8% of Britain’s total demand for electricity. But that’s expected to grow to 14% by 2023 and almost a quarter by 2025. The UK wants to keep growing the sector so it can match a third of its energy needs by 2030.