Westermost Rough – the first offshore wind farm in the world to make commercial use of giant 6MW turbines with 75 metre blades - has been officially opened at a ceremony in Grimsby today.
Capable of meeting the electricity demand of well over 150,000 homes, the wind farm, is a joint venture between DONG Energy (50%) and its partners Marubeni Corporation (25%) and the UK Green Investment Bank plc (25%).
Declaring Westermost Rough open, Lord Haskins, Chairman of the Humber Local Economic Partnership said: "The Humber is the UK's Energy Estuary and the inauguration of this wind farm is further confirmation of the importance of the offshore wind industry for our area.
"It is great to see this cutting edge renewable technology playing such an important role in the regeneration of the port at Grimsby, while Siemens are building a turbine blade manufacturing plant at Green Port, Hull."
DONG Energy Chief Executive Henrik Poulsen said: "Westermost Rough is a ground-breaking project which is playing an important part in our drive to reduce the cost of electricity from offshore wind.
"Not only is this the first offshore wind project in the world to deploy the Siemens 6MW wind turbine, with a 154 metre rotor diameter, it also stands out as a project which attracted investment during the construction phase from our joint venture partners, Marubeni and Green Investment Bank."
He added: "Westermost Rough is the latest wind farm in our portfolio of wind farms with a total installed capacity of over 3,000 MW – more than half in the UK."
Marubeni Corporation Senior Executive Vice President Shigeru Yamazoe said:
"We are delighted to see that Westermost Rough wind farm is now under operation meaning that the wind farm is now supplying clean energy to UK. We consider the success to be attributable to the vision and execution capability of DONG Energy who are leading the market in the offshore wind sector. We are also pleased to have been partnered with GIB and honoured to have been able to introduce Japan Bank for International Cooperation to the offshore wind market, in what is an iconic project in the UK infrastructure sphere."
Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive UK Green Investment Bank plc, said: "Westermost Rough is a pioneering project that has helped advance the offshore wind sector across the world by utilising new technology for the first time; increasing performance levels while decreasing costs. We congratulate DONG Energy on its delivery of a world-class project.
"It has also been an important project in the development of the UK Green Investment Bank. It was our first construction-phase investment in the offshore wind sector, saw us enter into partnership with DONG Energy and Marubeni for the first time and was the first project we have refinanced, attracting new investors."
Westermost Rough is capable of generating up to 210 MW of electricity, using 35 Siemens 6MW turbines. Each turbine stands 177 metres high from sea level to blade tip, more than 20 metres higher than the towers of the Humber Bridge.
Over 900 people were involved in the offshore construction of the wind farm and up to 100 staff from DONG Energy and its partners will be based in the purpose-built Operations & Maintenance base in Grimsby's Royal Dock.
Westermost Rough is located 8 kilometres from the Holderness coast, approximately 25km north of Spurn Head at the River Humber estuary. Cables bring the power ashore on the Holderness Coast north of Withernsea and into the national grid at the Westermost Rough onshore substation on Staithes Road, Hedon outside Hull.