United Kingdom – Dogger Bank Wind Farm has announced a revolutionary platform design, unveiling the world’s first unmanned High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) offshore substation.
When complete in 2026 the wind farm will become the biggest in the world, able to produce enough electricity to power around 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. It will be constructed over 130km out to sea, where wind speeds are higher and more consistent than near to the shore.
A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, SSE Renewables is leading on the construction and delivery of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Equinor will operate Dogger Bank Wind Farm on completion for its lifetime of up to 35 years.
First offshore wind project to use HVDC in UK
Dogger Bank will be the first offshore wind project in the UK to use HVDC technology to transmit the electricity produced back to shore, ensuring that the electricity is transmitted efficiently over long distances while minimizing losses. Upon first installation in Dogger Bank A during 2023, the project’s HVDC facility will also become the largest-ever at 1.2GW, marking a tremendous scale up from the previous industry benchmark of 0.8GW.
Working closely with platform manufacturer Aibel, the Dogger Bank team were challenged to design the first unmanned offshore HVDC substation in the world. Removing the need for personnel to stay on the platform meant it was then possible to eliminate elements such as the living quarters, helideck and sewage systems, resulting in a 70% reduction in weight (per megawatt) of the topside compared to previous platforms installed, and cost savings of hundreds of millions of pounds (GBP).
Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). Dogger Bank C is a 50:50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor.