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Dogger Bank C in UK offshore wind first to provide reactive power capability

7th February 2022 in Press releases, Project news

  • Delivery of Dogger Bank Wind Farm enables cost-saving reactive power solution for National Grid ESO.
  • First time a National Grid ESO reactive power tender has been awarded to an offshore transmission asset.
  • ESO’s Voltage Pathfinder results in millions of pounds of consumer savings and engineering solutions needed for tomorrow’s greener grid. 

Dogger Bank Wind Farm has secured a UK power first by becoming the first offshore wind farm project to win a tender from National Grid ESO to provide reactive power capability. The sector-first contract will help deliver a greener grid, maintain a stable voltage power supply, and help drive down UK consumer costs by millions of pounds.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is breaking world records and pioneering new technology in its delivery. Now, in another UK first enabled by the delivery of the Dogger Bank project, an offshore wind farm’s transmission asset will deliver reactive power for UK consumers, helping solve future grid system needs and taking us another step closer to net zero carbon electricity generation.

Located off the north-east coast of England, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is being built in three 1.2GW phases and will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when operational, with an overall capacity of 3.6GW. Dogger Bank C, which won a CfD in the 2019 auction, is around 560km² in size and at its closest point is 196km from shore. The third phase of the project is being developed on a different timescale to the first two phases, Dogger Bank A and B, which are being constructed at the same time. Dogger Bank C will connect to the national grid at the existing Lackenby Substation in Teesside.

Under new £22.5m Pennines Voltage Pathfinder contracts announced today, National Grid ESO has awarded a 10-year power contract to Dogger Bank C that will see its onshore converter station at Lazenby in the North-East of England provide 200 MVAr* of reactive power capability between 2024 and 2034. This marks the first time that an offshore wind transmission asset has been awarded a contract through a reactive power tender by National Grid ESO.

National Grid Electricity Transmission will provide a similar grid-support service in West Yorkshire following the closure of other power stations in that region. Together, Dogger Bank C and National Grid Electricity Transmission will provide 700 MVAr* of reactive power capability for the next decade while saving consumers millions of pounds**.

As Britain’s system operator, National Grid ESO has an obligation to ensure voltage is managed within strict guidelines to ensure the safe and secure provision of electricity to consumers and businesses. Reactive power capability is vital for managing voltage and being able to operate a zero-carbon system of the future.

Under its Pennines Voltage Pathfinder programme, National Grid ESO identified the need for reactive power solutions to be provided in the years ahead in the North-East of England following the expected closure of Hartlepool nuclear power station in March 2024.

Following a competitive process to ensure the most cost-effective services are selected, Dogger Bank C wind farm’s offshore transmission asset has been selected to provide the reactive power capability needed to help stabilise voltage on the grid for ten years from 2024.  The award of the reactive power contract to Dogger Bank C’s planned offshore transmission asset has the added benefit of eliminating the need to develop new grid solutions in the region to provide this service, thereby averting the construction of additional energy infrastructure and so reducing visual impact on coastal communities in line with a key aim of the Offshore Transmission Network Review.

SSE Renewables, which is leading on the construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, is due to commence onshore construction works for the offshore transmission asset later this summer.

Steve Wilson, SSE Renewables Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said:

“Dogger Bank Wind Farm is continually pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved through the delivery of an offshore wind farm, breaking records and setting new milestones here in the UK and globally.

“Today’s announcement that Dogger Bank C will become the first UK offshore wind farm to use the functionality of its offshore transmission assets to support National Grid ESO in balancing the network at the lowest cost is further proof of the outstanding innovation that our Dogger Bank team continually strives to deliver. It also demonstrates the significant positive impact that offshore wind energy, and Dogger Bank in particular, is having on delivering the UK’s net zero carbon electricity system while driving down long-term energy costs for British consumers.”

Julian Leslie, Head of Networks at National Grid ESO, said: 

“These services take us another step closer to 100% zero carbon operation, showcasing Britain’s innovation in engineering and driving competition within the system, ultimately saving consumers millions of pounds.

“Reactive power capability is vital for managing voltage and being able to operate a zero carbon system of the future so we’re excited to see that an offshore wind farm’s transmission asset will deliver reactive power to support the wider network for the first time in Britain.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is located more than 130km off the north-east coast of England and is being delivered by joint venture partners SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni. SSE Renewables is leading on construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion. Due to its size and scale, Dogger Bank is being built in three consecutive 1.2GW phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. In total the wind farm is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand, equivalent to powering six million homes.

East Riding teenager secures apprenticeship on world’s largest offshore wind farm

7th February 2022 in Community News, Press releases, Project news

  • Fin Needham is one of 6 higher engineering apprentices working for Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK on Dogger Bank Wind Farm sites.
  • This week (7 – 13 February) marks National Apprentice Week, an annual celebration of apprenticeships in England

February 04, 2022: A teenager from Nafferton in East Riding of Yorkshire is helping to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm after securing an apprenticeship with the project’s civil engineering contractor.

Fin Needham (18), lives just a short distance from the sites in East Riding where the onshore work has been taking place, in preparation for the first two phases of the wind farm to connect to the National Grid near Beverley.

The teenager has been working on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm sites with Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and is now studying towards his Higher National Certificate in Civil Engineering at Coleg Cambria, with plans to move on to a degree-level Higher National Diploma in the future.

Fin is delighted to start his career on the world’s largest offshore wind farm and says his family are over the moon to see him on his way to a career in a growing industry.

“Both my parents were really pleased when I found out I had been successful in applying,” said the former Driffield School and Sixth Form student.

“I’d completed my A Levels in maths, physics and geography, and didn’t initially know what I wanted to do next.

“I had been looking at apprenticeships online, as had my mum, and in the end I applied to Jones Bros as we both recognised the company because we often drive past the Dogger Bank site.

“I really enjoyed being able to start close to home, getting involved with the hands-on aspects of engineering, using the GPS surveying equipment and helping out with trenches and the ducts that the high voltage cables will run through.

“Everyone has been incredibly welcoming, particularly two of the other apprentices who are a bit further along the course who I worked alongside so I could get my bearings.”

Fin says the company’s involvement in renewable energy projects was a big incentive in choosing the North Wales-headquartered firm.

He added:

“Low carbon projects like Dogger Bank Wind Farm are only going to get more important in the future, so the skills I’m learning will be relevant for a long time.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is being built in three consecutive 1.2GW phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. When all three phases are complete in 2026, the wind farm will produce enough renewable energy for 6 million UK homes.

Jones Bros has six higher engineering apprentices and two trainee general construction operatives on site across the three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, with four plant operatives having completed their qualification while working on the project.

Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). In November 2021 SSE Renewables and Equinor, 50:50 joint venture partners in Dogger Bank C, announced Eni will take a 20% stake in the final phase, with SSE Renewables and Equinor maintaining 40% stakes each. The deal is expected to complete in Q1 2022, subject to  regulatory approvals.

Garmon Hafal, training manager at Jones Bros, said:

“We’re pleased to see how well Fin has started on the apprenticeship, and everyone out on site was very complimentary of his work.

 “We are always keen to invest in our staff. Our higher apprenticeship offers degree-level qualifications with further opportunities to progress towards a Master’s in engineering and chartered engineer status.

 “Higher apprenticeships are a fantastic way to start in the industry, and I would encourage anyone considering a career in civil engineering to give it some thought.”

Dogger Bank Wind farm Onshore Works Manager, Oliver Flattery, said:

“It’s great to see our supply chain giving opportunities to young people in the communities where we’re building our onshore infrastructure.

 “We hope this is the start of a rewarding and exciting career for Fin. 

“We welcome him to the Dogger Bank team and look forward to working with him as we build the vital infrastructure to support our net zero future.”

First 25 Dogger Bank Wind Farm scholarships awarded to university students

3rd February 2022 in Community News, Press releases, Project news

  • 25 Scholarships awarded to students from the north-east of England and East Riding of Yorkshire to help young people prepare for working life in a Net Zero world.
  • The students are undertaking courses focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
  • The scholarships are part of a wider £1 million investment in local communities during the construction of the wind farm.

February 2022: Twenty five students from coastal communities in the north and north-east of England are being supported to fulfil their potential thanks to a scholarship of £5,000 each from Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The Scholarship Fund provides grants to local students undertaking science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses in further education. The grants provided this month are the first round of the Scholarship Fund with a total of 62 scholarships being awarded during the construction of the wind farm.

The students are undertaking a wide range of STEM courses from diverse subjects such as flood management and cyber security. The role of the NHS during the pandemic has clearly inspired young people with six scholars undertaking medical related degrees. There is also clearly a focus on the climate emergency with five students undertaking degrees which can help prepare for a Net Zero future.

Ethan Young (21), is from Redcar and is studying Mechanical Engineering at Teesside University. The former Middlesbrough College Apprentice, said:

“Teesside is rich in engineering history, and it is something I have always been interested in. You can change the future by the way you design and develop new technologies. I think the financial support provided by the wind farm is really immense as it allows you to fully focus your time on your studies rather than have the burden of financial worries associated with university.”

Ruby Franklin (19), from Swanland in East Riding of Yorkshire is studying Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Ruby, a former South Hunsley School and Sixth Form College student, said:

“This scholarship has helped me with financial concerns so that I can focus fully on my studies whilst also inspiring me about renewable energy in my local area.”

Joshua Moore (19), from South Shields is studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester. Joshua previously studied at Harton Sixth Form College. He said:

This scholarship has helped me with my studies as it helps give me some peace of mind when it comes to repaying my student loans, allowing me to focus wholly on my studies.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located more than 130 km off the Yorkshire coast and will generate enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, SSE Renewables is leading on Dogger Bank construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion.

In June Dogger Bank Wind Farm unveiled plans for a £1 million construction fund to support the coastal communities where its onshore infrastructure is being developed. The programme includes a significant investment in science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as an operators fund to support local causes. Further information is available here. 

Lindsay Dougan, Community Investment Manager for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said:

“The quality of scholarship applications from students were very high and shows the excellent subjects being studied by local people. We are proud to help 25 young people  take steps into further education and to support the workforce of the future as we continue our work to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm.”

Picture caption: Redcar and Cleveland students Lucy Tunn (left), Ethan Young (centre) and Grace Robson (right) have all received scholarships from Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Dogger Bank-destined jack-up vessel marks sea change in turbine installation capability

31st January 2022 in Construction, Press releases, Project news, Supply Chain

The jack-up vessel that will enter service for the first time to install the turbines on Dogger Bank Wind Farm has been officially launched.

Jan De Nul’s Voltaire will play a critical role in the installation of 277 GE Haliade-X turbines in the North Sea, more than 130km off the Yorkshire coast of England.

With a lifting capacity of more than 3,000 tonnes and a deck space equal to a football pitch, the ship is the largest of its kind in the world.

The next generation vessel was launched at the COSCO Shipping Shipyard in Nantong, China.

Steve Wilson, Dogger Bank Project Director, said:

“We congratulate Jan De Nul on successfully launching its unrivalled Jack up Vessel, the Voltaire. This impressive installation vessel will play a critical role in the construction of all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm when it enters service, demonstrating an innovative engineering solution to the growing challenge presented by larger and more technically demanding wind farms.”

Dogger Bank wind farm agreed a contract with Jan De Nul for the transport and installation of turbines for the first two phases of the wind farm in 2019, with the Dogger Bank C contract following on last year.

The Voltaire will be able to run on second-generation biodiesel that reduces its fuel carbon footprint by up to 90%, and is also equipped with an advanced dual exhaust filter system, removing up to 99% of nanoparticles from emissions.

The launch of this environmentally-innovative vessel came just 20 days after Jan De Nul launched its Les Alizés ship to serve the growing demand from current and future wind farm projects.

Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group, said:

“The Voltaire will enable us to work in deeper waters and reach ever higher nacelle heights than before. Adding Voltaire and Les Alizés to the fleet gives us the perfect set of vessels to execute the growing number of large and clustered international offshore wind projects. Our forward-looking view on market trends and the quick decision making to invest in this set of Next Gen installation vessels, have done us no harm. The Voltaire and Les Alizés have all the required specifications to meet the upcoming challenges in offshore renewables. We are proud to be recognised for the choices we made back in 2019, and look forward to continuing our journey, alongside industry leaders, through our contribution to renewable energy growth in the worldwide energy transition.”

Another UK manufacturer to help build Dogger Bank foundations

22nd December 2021 in Project news, Supply Chain

Steel manufactured in Wales and processed in Corby and Hartlepool is set to play a role in the foundations that will support the world’s largest offshore Wind Farm.

Sif and Smulders were awarded contracts to provide the monopiles and transition pieces for the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm in November 2020, with Dogger Bank C awarded a year later.

They have since awarded subcontracts to South Tyneside-based Metec and Rochdale-based Granada to work on this world-leading project, with an order now placed with Tata Steel to help shape the transition pieces.

Steel made in Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site and processed into hollow sections at the company’s Corby and Hartlepool sites, will help form the supporting components of the transition pieces to be used in the fist two phases of the wind farm.

Sandip Biswas, Chairman of the Board of Tata Steel UK, said:

“We are proud to be able to help support UK jobs and manufacturing through this project.

“Huge amounts of steel will be needed to help the UK achieve its net-zero goals – to build everything from renewable energy and low-CO2 transportation to hydrogen production and distribution.

“At the same time, we have targets for our own decarbonisation as a steelmaker. Our own transition to a decarbonised future will rely on a secure supply of competitively priced renewable energy – whether that be to create hydrogen for future steelmaking or power new low-CO2 furnaces. The more we can help in delivering these landmark projects the better.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said:

“This is another great example of how we’re taking advantage of UK skills and expertise to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Our transition pieces are among the largest to be installed on an offshore wind farm, and this UK-manufactured steel will form some of the supporting components.

“Dogger Bank Wind Farm is already creating or supporting more than 3,000 jobs in the UK supply chain, and giving companies the chance to work on a pioneering project which will help them become increasingly competitive as the world adapts to produce energy that doesn’t cost the earth.”