Danish energy company Ørsted has made a final investment decision (FID) on the 2.9GW Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm located in the UK North Sea.

Projected to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 3 is anticipated to reach completion by late 2027.

Once fully commissioned, the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm is estimated to produce renewable electricity to power more than 3.3 million households in the UK. It will play a crucial role in achieving the UK government’s goal of operating 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, in alignment with the British Energy Security Strategy.

Ørsted has confirmed the completion of all major contracts for Hornsea 3, including an agreement with Siemens Gamesa for the supply of SG 14-236 DD offshore wind turbines with a 14MW capacity, excluding power boost.

Located nearly 120km off the Norfolk coast and 160km off the coast of Yorkshire, the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm will have up to 231 turbines spanning an area of 696km2.

During its construction phase, Hornsea 3 is expected to create employment opportunities for up to 5,000 individuals. Additionally, in the long operational phase, the project anticipates sustaining up to 1,200 permanent jobs, both directly and within the supply chain.

The Danish energy company also revealed that a significant portion of the capital expenditure for Hornsea 3 was secured prior to recent inflationary challenges. This proactive approach ensured competitive pricing from the supply chain and provided an opportunity for collaborative efforts to explore value creation, said the company.

Ørsted further stated that incorporation of larger wind turbines and synergies with Hornsea 1 and 2 is expected to result in reduced operating costs compared to previous projects in the portfolio.

In July 2022, Ørsted secured a contract for difference (CfD) for the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm with an inflation-indexed strike price of £37.35 per MWh based on 2012 prices.

The CfD framework allows for a potential reduction in the awarded CfD capacity. Ørsted intends to leverage this flexibility by submitting a portion of Hornsea 3’s capacity in the forthcoming UK allocation round 6.

Ørsted group president and CEO Mads Nipper said: “By applying our world-leading capabilities within offshore wind innovation, engineering, operations, procurement, and financing, we’ve been able to mature the world’s largest offshore wind project and take final investment decision.

“Offshore wind is an extremely competitive global market, so we also welcome the attractive policy regime in the UK which has helped secure this investment.”