The first turbine at the 402MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm off the Norfolk coast has started supplying electricity to the UK National Grid.

Project developer Statoil said the 6MW Siemens machine began delivering power on 7 February, powering about 6000 UK homes.

When fully operational, later this year, the Dudgeon offshore wind farm is expected to power more than 400,000 homes.

The total estimated cost of the wind farm is £1.5bn. Statoil and Masdar hold a stake of 35% each in the wind farm, while the remaining stake of 30% is held by Statkraft. Statoil will be sole operator of the wind farm.

The foundations, cable work and offshore substation have already been installed last year. The offshore wind farm located 32km offshore will consist of 67 of Siemens’ 6MW turbines.

Each of the wind turbines will have a rotor diameter of 154m, being supported by grounded monopile structures that reach depths between 18 -27m.

Installation and commissioning of the remaining 66 wind turbines is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.

According to Statoil, till now, about 2000 vessel days of work was involved and almost the same number of vessel days is expected to require for the installation and commissioning of the turbines.

Statoil technology, projects and drilling executive vice president Margareth Øvrum said: "This is a significant milestone for one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe. I am particularly satisfied with the on time deliveries and the HSE performance so far.”

Statoil offshore wind senior vice president Stephen Bull said: "Building a profitable renewable portfolio on the foundation of 40 years of oil and gas experience is a competitive advantage.

“We can leverage on our marine operations competence, our experience with complex projects and our supply chain. A lot of work remains, but seeing the first Dudgeon turbine producing electricity is very satisfying.”

Statoil says that together with its partners, it plans to install offshore wind farms in Europe which can produce enough power to be supplied to more than 1 million homes in the continent.

The Norwegian energy company currently holds a 40% share in the Sheringham Shoal wind farm located offshore Norfolk, UK, which has been in production since 2012.

The Hywind Scotland pilot park offshore Peterhead, Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm, will come in production in late 2017.


Image: First turbine delivers power from Statoil’s Dudgeon offshore wind farm. Photo: Courtesy of Roar Lindefjeld/Woldcam – Statoil.