A £21bn offshore wind project in the North Atlantic looks set to create 15,000 jobs and provide renewable electricity to the UK when existing British wind farms are not operating.
This is the claim of Hecate Independent Power Limited (HIP) which has launched the HIP Atlantic Project, an undertaking to install 10,000MW of fixed and floating wind turbines in the North Atlantic. These will be connected to the UK by long-length, high-capacity, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power cables.
According to HIP, the cables will be manufactured in the UK at a £200m power cable plant set to be built at a port in the northeast of England.
HIP is said to have lodged four connection applications with National Grid for an initial 4,000MW of grid connections to the UK’s 400kV electricity transmission system across four connection sites. Each wind farm – or pod – will be in a different North Atlantic location, and each pod consisting of 1,000MW of wind turbines will have its own dedicated cable linked to Britain. Full dispatch of the HIP offshore wind pods will be under the control of National Grid ESO, making HIP Atlantic Britain’s first captive wind farm in overseas territorial waters.
“HIP Atlantic fulfils the prime Minister’s vision of attracting investment and job creation in the North of England as part of this country’s ambitious policy to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind energy,” commented HIP’s chairman, Sir Tony Baldry. “We will stretch the zone of British-operated wind generation outside of our traditional territorial waters, pushing the boundaries of existing cable technology to generate over 1,000kms from our grid landfall points throughout England.”
HIP Atlantic’s initial 2,000MW of generation capacity, targeted to be off the southern and eastern coasts of Iceland, is expected to be commissioned in early 2025.
HIP’s planned offshore wind pods in the North Atlantic will all be installed in a different meteorological catchment area from current North Sea and Irish Sea wind farms and so HIP renewable electricity can be supplied at times when existing British wind farms are becalmed. In a statement HIP said this diversity provides a geographical portfolio effect to protect the UK transmission grid from too much offshore wind capacity installed in one region.
British manufactured content is expected to be maximised across offshore wind turbine and cable manufacture, installation and operations. According to HIP, the initial 2,000 MW capacity will result in some 15,000 new jobs.