Image: Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm / Credit: Orsted
In a pivotal stride towards green energy expansion, Ørsted, a global frontrunner in wind farm development, is poised to earmark £100 million for a novel turbine manufacturing facility at Teesworks. This venture is set to bolster the Hornsea 3 offshore wind initiative, showcasing a tangible commitment to sustainable energy solutions.
Over the recent weekend, buzz has swirled around Danish titan Ørsted's plans to transform a swath of Teesworks—Europe's largest brownfield expanse and erstwhile site of the defunct Redcar steelworks, shuttered in 2015—into a turbine production powerhouse for the anticipated Hornsea 3 project.
This development follows on the heels of Ørsted's recent financial endorsement of the Hornsea 3 scheme, representing the third instalment in a series of offshore wind ventures. The earlier phases, Hornsea 1 and Hornsea 2, have set the stage with a combined capacity of 2.5GW. Positioned roughly 160km off Grimsby's coast—home to Ørsted's offshore wind operations and maintenance nucleus—the collective output of the project's three phases is slated to supply over three million households with clean energy, with prospects for a fourth phase to elevate capacity north of 7GW.
Insider whispers hint at the deployment of Siemens Gamesa's formidable 14MW SG14-236DD turbines for Hornsea 3. Yet, an intriguing partnership with South Korea's SeAH hints at producing colossal 40-metre-tall turbines at another Teesworks facility, signalling a robust industry synergy.
Anticipation mounts as Ørsted teeters on the brink of publicizing this monumental investment imminently, with inquiries to the Copenhagen-listed behemoth pending response.
Amid escalating construction costs and inflationary headwinds challenging the offshore wind sector, Ørsted's assurances of pre-emptive capital expenditure commitments for Hornsea 3 emerge as a beacon of fiscal prudence and strategic foresight, securing advantageous terms within the supply chain to greenlight the project.
The impending investment, promising to generate approximately 200 job opportunities, emerges as a watershed moment for local leadership, notably Tory mayor Lord Ben Houchen, amidst scrutiny over Teesworks' stewardship and transparency. This announcement also dovetails with a vindicating report absolving Teesworks and the South Tees Development Corporation from allegations of cronyism, albeit highlighting areas for enhanced openness and governance.
This revelation aligns with WindEurope's recent accolade for the European offshore wind industry, which celebrated a record-breaking 2023, underscoring a 40 per cent uptick in new capacity relative to the preceding year, solidifying the continent's standing in the renewable energy domain.