Danish wind energy company Ørsted has officially commenced operations on the Hornsea One offshore windfarm off the coast of Lincolnshire, UK. The windfarm will have a capacity of over 1GW when complete; almost double the size of the current world’s largest offshore windfarm Walney Extension off the coast of Cumbria.

The windfarm is formed of 174 7MW turbines provided by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), 50 of which are currently operational. The installation of the turbines is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2019, with the windfarm becoming fully operational in early 2020. When finished, it will be able to power over one million homes in the UK.

Hornsea One is further from the shore than any other windfarm at 120km and will be maintained by a service operations vessel (SOV) which will be out at sea for four-week stints. The windfarm also has the first offshore reactive compensation station and the longest ever AC offshore wind export cable system.

Energy and clean growth minister Chris Skidmore said: “The start of operations at the world’s largest windfarm at Hornsea One is an important milestone and yet another example of British innovation and the UK’s leadership in offshore wind.

“We already have the largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world, and once fully up and running this wind farm will provide enough power for one million more homes, putting us well on the way to our target of a third of the UK’s electricity coming from offshore wind by 2030.”

Ørsted tweeted: “Over the weekend, operations started on Hornsea 1 in the UK. The huge scale of the project means that operations are beginning before construction is complete.”