Hitachi Energy helps deliver first power from world’s largest offshore wind farm in record time

Hitachi Energy has announced that power has been transmitted from the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, via its high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system to the UK grid for the first time. Hitachi Energy has provided its HVDC Light system to connect Dogger Bank A, located more than 130-kilometres off the Northeast coast of England, to the mainland.
Hitachi Energy helps deliver first power from world’s largest offshore wind farm in record time
The first wind turbine installed at Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Courtesy of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The HVDC systems will facilitate power transfer to the mainland. The total transmission capacity of 3.6 gigawatts (GW) across the three phases of the project will power up to 6 million homes, or around five percent of UK’s electricity needs, and significantly contribute toward the UK government’s goals of sourcing up to a third of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

“The urgent energy transition requires strong collaboration, new business models, and global standards” said Andreas Berthou, Head of HVDC at Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “We are proud to be the technology partner for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project, with HVDC being the force multiplier for the clean energy transition, increasing access to an energy system that is more sustainable, flexible and secure. Today is a significant milestone in securing the UK’s future energy needs, made possible by foresighted partners such as SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn that have made the UK a leader in the transition to clean power.”

Offshore HVDC converter stations turn the generated wind power from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and transmit the electricity to shore, where a second converter station will turn the power back to AC and integrate it into the AC grid. At such distances underwater, HVDC is the most feasible way to transmit electricity, and losses are minimised, meaning more power reaches the end consumer. By using HVDC, the reliability also increases in the AC grid due to the system's uniquely flexible and controllable features.

The latest HVDC Light system used for these connections provides the most compact design and the lowest energy losses in the power industry. According to an independent life cycle assessment, implementing this pioneering technology will reduce the lifetime CO2 impact by almost two-thirds, compared to previously commissioned installations, supporting the clean energy transition and the strong global focus on carbon-neutral energy systems.

“Hitachi Energy’s HVDC systems are a great asset for long-distance offshore transmission” added Olly Cass, Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm. “Successful deployment of this technology for the first time on a UK wind farm shows what can be achieved at scale, and at greater distances from our coastline. We thank Hitachi Energy for its role in our journey to first power. Together with our supply chain partners we’re creating a greener and more secure energy system for UK homes and businesses and for future generations.”

Hitachi Energy’s total scope of supply includes the design, engineering, procurement, construction and installation of six converter stations, three onshore and three offshore. Aibel AS, with whom Hitachi Energy has a strategic partnership on offshore wind connections, will provide the three offshore platforms which will house the HVDC equipment. The Dogger Bank HVDC project is an early example of a new business model in the HVDC industry, where orders are placed for multiple, similar HVDC systems. This new approach allows Hitachi Energy to plan in advance to increase manufacturing capacity, expand and train the workforce, and maximise standardisation to increase synergies between successive projects.

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