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Biggest offshore wind farm in world scraps green hydrogen proposal

Posted on March 5, 2024

The developers of UK offshore wind project Dogger Bank D is abandoning its original plan to produce green hydrogen, preferring instead to just supply electricity into the national grid.

Joint developers Britain’s SSE and Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn had been exploring the prospect of using the power from the 2 gigawatt (GW) fourth phase extension of the giant North Sea wind for what would have been the UK’s largest green hydrogen production facility.

But on Friday the companies said that with the confirmation of an onshore grid connection, the green hydrogen project had been scrapped.

This is despite contracts for feasibility studies being issued to Genesis, H2GO Power and Fichtner in December for concept and engineering designs, and offtake options.

Dogger Bank D will now connect into Birkhill Wood, a proposed new 400kV substation located in the East Riding of Yorkshire which will be built as part of the UK’s ‘Great Grid Upgrade’.

“Dogger Bank D welcomes this confirmation which supports our ambition to develop this proposed offshore wind farm,” says project manager Rob Cussons.

“We are working hard to deliver safe and respectful construction both offshore and onshore, as well as generating socio-economic value for current and future generations. We look forward to continuing these high standards for project development and working with our stakeholders to plan and deliver a sustainable and secure energy system.”

Dogger Bank is a sandbank in the middle of the southern section of the North Sea that stretches through Dutch, German, Danish, and UK waters.

The 5.6 GW wind farm will be the largest in the world, and is being built in four phases: three 1.2 GW phases with Dogger Bank A, B and C, and one 2 GW phase in Dogger Bank D, with a mixture of Haliade-X 13 MW and 14 MW turbines.

Developers say each rotation of the 107-metre-long blades on Dogger Bank’s first turbine could produce enough energy to power the average British home for two days.

Delays caused by weather and vessel and supply chain issues mean full commissioning of the initial Dogger Bank A phase could be delayed until 2025, although it began exporting power from its first operational turbine into the UK grid in October last year.

The first three phases will be able to power some 6 million homes when completed in 2026, from 190 turbines.

The Dogger Bank D phase was proposed a year ago with both electricity and hydrogen offtake options being developed in parallel, with a total of 277 turbines installed.

An updated proposal will be published this month along with consultation with local communities about the grid connection – which could include the prospect of building an interconnector to Europe, according to Recharge.

Adding electricity sales options may be necessary: in November the UK government lifted the ceiling strike price for offshore wind by 66 per cent, to £73/MWh ($A139/MWh) for fixed bottom offshore wind projects and £176/MWh ($A337/MWh) for floating offshore wind projects.

This was to ensure they’d still be economically viable as construction and supply chain prices surge.


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