Equinor and SSE Renewables pick Tyne for Dogger Bank Base

Equinor


Equinor and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the Dogger Bank offshore wind farms, have announced plans to build a new multi-million GBP Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base at the Port of Tyne.

The three projects represent a total combined capacity of 3.6 GW and are expected to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 4.5 million UK homes. The project partners estimate that the development will trigger a total capital investment of approximately £9 billion between 2020 and 2026.

Onshore construction of the wind farms, led by SSE Renewables, began in January 2020 with offshore construction scheduled to take place at each site consecutively between 2022 – 2026. The first project is expected to be operational in 2023. The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations in water depths between 20 and 35 metres.

The three projects secured consent back in 2015. This was followed by further success in the UK government's latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction last year.
Dogger Bank A secured a CfD with a strike price of £39.65/MWh, while Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C secured contracts for £41.61/MWh. The Contract for Difference is a 15-year contract, which will be indexed for inflation.

Equinor will construct the new O&M base, and operate the complex for its expected life of more than 25 years. The new multi-million pound facility, which includes both office space and a warehouse, will be the onshore base for Equinor’s teams ensuring the efficient operation of the wind farm. The project is expected to generate over 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain.
 

The jobs required to operate offshore wind farms include maintenance technician roles, that will predominately be based offshore, as well as office-based teams to support the operations from land. The main recruitment activity will begin in early 2022 and ramp up as the project nears operation, with the first phase due to begin producing electricity in 2023.


Stephen Bull, Senior Vice President for Equinor’s North Sea New Energy Solutions and Chair of Renewable UK, said: “The UK government has legislated to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Major scale renewable energy projects like Dogger Bank ensures Britain’s leadership as the #1 offshore wind nation. Moreover, the project brings new investment to the UK, at a challenging time for us all, and secures over 200 jobs in the region as well as new opportunities in a future-fit growth sector.

“The North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities.

“We are extremely proud that our skilled teams will operate the world’s largest offshore wind farm from here and look forward to becoming part of the community, and strengthening our low-carbon commitment to the North East.”


The project is also committed to engaging with the UK supply chain, to ensure that UK companies have the chance to get involved, whether it be directly or through one of the project’s Tier One and Two suppliers. An online procurement portal has been established and meet the buyer events will be held in due course, to encourage UK companies to get involved.

Paul Cooley, SSE Renewables Director of Capital Projects, said: “The announcement today cements SSE Renewables’ and Equinor’s commitment to developing long term jobs and economic benefit in the UK and we are very pleased to welcome the Port of Tyne to the project.

“The Operations and Maintenance base will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the local area during construction and throughout the projects lifetime, as we have seen on our previous offshore wind projects including Beatrice.

“Dogger Bank will help drive the transition to a net zero future and we are continuing our work to construct the largest offshore wind farm in the world safely.”


Matt Beeton, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Tyne said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected by Equinor and SSE Renewables as the port of choice to house the Operations and Maintenance base for the largest offshore wind farm in the world. This is clearly a very important milestone in attracting such leading names in offshore power generation to the Port but it’s also extremely important for the wider region in terms of local supply chain and employment opportunities.

“The Port recently launched its ‘Tyne 2050’ plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030.  Offshore wind is a key component of that strategy and this announcement is a huge step towards developing a cleaner future for the Port, the region and for industry in the North East."


For more information on wind farm developments,
click here. Alternatively, click here for our interactive map of offshore wind farms, infrastructure and ports.