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World’s largest jack-up vessel Voltaire installs first next generation wind turbines to help deliver first power at world’s largest offshore wind farm

The installation and first power of the first GE Haliade-X turbine at Dogger Bank A was confirmed today. The precision exercise to install the turbine was undertaken by engineers and technicians using Jan De Nul Group’s ultra-low emission vessel Voltaire, which has a crane lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes.

The turbine blades tips reach 260 metres above sea level; the same height as New York’s iconic Rockefeller Centre. Each blade is 107 meters long.

Project Director for Dogger Bank, Olly Cass said: The installation of the first turbine at Dogger Bank A is an important moment for our workforce, our suppliers and of course our project partners on the path to first power which will be a landmark moment as we start to generate electricity for the first time. Dogger Bank is a major infrastructure project which is benefitting the economy as well as supporting the UK’s future energy security and making a major contribution to the UK’s ambitious Net Zero targets.”

Manager Jan De Nul Offshore Renewables at Jan De Nul Group, Jan Van Impe added: “Our Voltaire has proven that the scale and characteristics of the Dogger Bank offshore turbines offer the perfect challenge for this next generation state-of-the art jack-up installation vessel. We are excited to have installed the very first offshore GE Haliade-X turbine on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in a sustainable and efficient way, and we are looking forward to continuing this mission with industry leaders SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn to further construct the energy transition for the UK energy market.”

Dogger Bank paves the way for other large offshore wind farms.

The first turbines have been installed around 130 km from the Yorkshire coast, and connected via inter-array cables to the UK’s first unmanned HVDC offshore substation, which was set in place earlier in 2023.

Dogger Bank will be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its distance from shore, introducing new transmission systems to the UK and paving the way for other large offshore wind farms.

Dogger Bank A, B and C will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

This first phase of the joint venture project between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn is scheduled to be fully operational in summer 2024. When complete, all three phases – Dogger Bank A, B and C will power the equivalent of 6 million UK households or about 5% of the UK’s electricity demand.

Voltaire is the first seaworthy installation vessel to be an Ultra-Low Emission vessel. 

Voltaire, named after the pioneering European Enlightenment philosopher, has a lifting capacity of 3,200 tonnes. The vessel is fitted with a highly advanced exhaust filtering system by means of a Selective Catalytic Reduction system and a Diesel Particulate Filter, making her the very first seagoing installation vessel of her kind to be a European Stage V-certified Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv).