Operations have started at the largest offshore windfarm in the world.

At 120 km from land, Hornsea One is also the world’s furthest out to sea wind project, meaning that for the first time in the UK, offshore helicopter refuelling had to be developed for a windfarm.The vessel which will carry the Hornsea One team to the windfarm 120km from shore

The huge scale of the Hornsea One means that operations are beginning before construction is complete. So far, over 50 of Siemens Gamesa 7 MW turbines are operational off the northeast coast of England, with installation to continue until late summer. When fully operational next year, the wind farm will have a capacity of 1 GW, generated by 174 turbines.

The project’s first operational team of 32 set sail from Grimsby Royal Docks to the windfarm. They are part of two shift-based teams that are responsible for operating and maintaining the windfarm, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout its 25-year life-span.

The teams will each spend two weeks at a time offshore, working at the windfarm and staying on a state-of-the-art ship equipped with 40 cabins, a games room, cinema and gym.

Deputy Operations Manager David Coussens is leading the first operational team shift and said: “Operating a windfarm this far offshore is unprecedented. We’ve had to think creatively and come up with new ways of working to overcome the logistical and technical challenges of operating a massive power station 120 km from the shore.”

Morten Holm, Head of Operations for Hornsea One – which is owned by Danish energy company Ørsted, said: “Hornsea One changes the game in the way we produce clean electricity around the globe. It’s the first of a new generation of offshore windfarms, that are much bigger than anyone has ever attempted to build before.”