The vessel shuttling the operations team around Hornsea 1 – at 1.2GW, the world biggest offshore wind farm, which reached first power this month in the UK North Sea – may look mostly like any other in its class, but the Edda Mistral has some interesting extra features.
Among them: a helipad – the first operations vessel on one of developer Orsted’s offshore projects to be outfitted with one; a motion-compensated gangway that allows technicians to ‘walk to work’ onto the wind turbines even in very rough seas; and a catalytic reduction system which uses urea derived from horse urine – yes, you read right – to lower the vessel’s NOx emissions, making it more environmentally friendly.
The huge scale of Hornsea 1, located 120km off the north-east coast of Britain, means that operations are beginning before construction is complete, with the first 32-strong team now at work offshore. Over 50 of the 7MW Siemens Gamesa turbines being installed at the wind farm are currently turning, with the full complement of 174 slated to be online in “late summer” and fully commissioned in 2020.
Orsted divested half of Hornsea 1 to infrastructure fund Global Infrastructure Partners late last year.