The local community and distinguished guests including Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart MP, gathered to celebrate the official opening of the O&M base for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
150 employees and guests gathered in South Tyneside to christen the O&M base at Port of Tyne, which will serve as the hub for operations for Dogger Bank Wind Farm. The O&M base also houses the control room that will monitor and manage 5% of the UK’s electricity generating capacity, which is produced by the offshore wind farm.
(L-R) Olly Cass, Dogger Bank Project Director; Jan Hay, Mayor of South Tyneside; Mark Halliday, Dogger Bank Operations Director; Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside Council Leader; Pål Eitrheim, EVP Renewables Equinor (Photo: Dave Bell / Equinor ASA)
Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said:
'The UK already boasts the four largest offshore wind farms in the world and I am delighted that Dogger Bank will overtake all of them in three years’ time. Having already delivered on green jobs and growth, Dogger Bank will be at the heart of boosting energy security for Britain and meeting the Energy Security Secretary's ambition to have among the cheapest wholesale electricity prices in Europe.'
Pål Eitrheim, EVP Renewables at Equinor, said:
'We’re proud to be delivering Dogger Bank Wind Farm with our partners SSE Renewables and Vårgrønn. We look forward to operating this major power generation asset for the next 35 years from the state-of-the art O&M base at the Port of Tyne. At Equinor, we always aim to bring economic value to the local community hosting our offshore wind project. This base is a shining example of the long-term, positive contribution that offshore wind will continue to bring to the North East of England.'
Dogger Bank Project Director at SSE Renewables, Oliver Cass, said:
'Today is an important day for everyone involved in our ground-breaking project as we move closer to delivering first power in the summer. Building a wind farm on this scale requires huge talent and dedication. I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who’s played their part in our journey so far, including the thousands of skilled UK employees who are truly world-class.'
Over 400 long-term roles have been created locally to support the operations and maintenance of the wind farm, based at the Port of Tyne facility. In total, over 2,000 UK jobs have been created or supported through the Dogger Bank project. The wind farm, which will generate 3.6 GW of capacity, is being built in three 1.2 GW phases, named Dogger Bank A, B & C, and will be able to power the equivalent of 6 million UK homes on completion
Councillor Pat Hay, Mayor of South Tyneside, said:
'This is a milestone moment and I am delighted to be here to officially open this facility. South Tyneside is honoured to be at the heart of this project, whose benefits to our community, now and in the future, can’t be underestimated. Dogger Bank places us at the forefront of the UK’s offshore renewables industry and represents our commitment to growth, innovation and sustainability. Along with our private sector partners, we can build a cleaner, greener future and ensure our residents can capitalise from the opportunities this world-class facility is creating right on our doorstep.'
The Port of Tyne O&M base building was designed by Newcastle-based Ryder Architecture and has been constructed and will be operated in line with the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. Bowmer + Kirkland built the base with a focus on local construction, with over £7.5 million spent with construction companies in Northeast England.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Vårgrønn (20%). SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years.