The 573 MW Race Bank offshore windfarm in the UK has been officially opened.
Race Bank is located off the North Norfolk coast in England and comprises 91 Siemens Gamesa 6 MW wind turbines, with many of these turbines featuring the first blades to be manufactured at Siemens Gamesa’s blade factory in Hull, England.
It is 50 per cent owned by Danish energy company Ørsted, with the other half comprising of Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (25 per cent), Sumitomo Corporation (12.5 per cent) and Green Investment Group, Arjun Infrastructure Partners and Gravis Capital Management (12.5%).
It is operated from Ørsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby, which is the UK’s largest offshore wind O&M base.
The project also features a new way of carrying out offshore maintenance, using a state of the art vessel that remains offshore, with technicians working shifts of 14 days on and 14 days off.
Matthew Wright, managing director at Ørsted UK, said Race Bank was “one of the fastest projects we have ever built”.
He added: “Powering over half a million homes every year, Race Bank is another positive step towards delivering the UK’s decarbonised energy system of the future.”
David Tilstone, managing director at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, said the delivery of the project “has set new standards for construction safety and speed, and marks a significant milestone in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy”.
Race Bank is the tenth UK offshore wind farm that Ørsted either owns and part owns, and these projects together provide over 3000 MW of energy.
Ørsted has also invested in the community through its East Coast Community Fund, sponsorships such as the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10K and a partnership with Teach First to address educational inequalities in the region.