Race Bank build ‘lived up to its name’ today’s official opening will be told
22nd June 2018
Grimsby’s latest offshore wind farm has been officially opened at a ceremony in the town today.
Race Bank, capable of powering more than half a million homes, has been built by Orsted off the Lincolnshire coast, with construction co-ordinated by a team out of Port of Grimsby East.
It is the second farm from the firm formerly known as Dong Energy, and the company is already well underway with the delivery of Hornsea Project One, set to be the world’s largest array, again from the town.
The latest project, delivered at a name-worthy pace, is part of a cluster of farms creating 500 jobs in the Grimsby port.
Capable of generating 573MW of green electricity from 91 Siemens Gamesa 6MW wind turbines, the majority of the blades for Race Bank have been manufactured in Hull, making it the first truly pan-Humber wind farm of the six now built off the estuary.
Operated from the £10 million East Coast Hub at Royal Dock, it has also seen the introduction of next generation service operation vessels, carrying and keeping crews offshore for fortnightly shifts.
Matthew Wright, managing director at Orsted UK said: “Race Bank is a fantastic infrastructure project and underlines Orsted’s contribution to the UK’s energy transition. It is also another clear signal of our firm commitment to Grimsby and the Humber, and the UK supply chain for offshore wind.
“Race Bank is a hugely significant and innovative project, featuring the first ever turbine blades to be made in Hull and becoming our first wind farm in the UK to be operated using a new service operation vessel. It is also one of the fastest projects we have ever built, with a fantastic safety record, and this is testament to the hard work of the project team and the great relationship we have with our partners.
“Powering over half a million homes every year, Race Bank is another positive step towards delivering the UK’s decarbonised energy system of the future.”
Jason Ledden led the team in Grimsby, having moved across from Westermost Rough, the first project. With Race Bank handed over to the operations and maintenance team, he is now working on Hornsea Project Two, which will take the world’s largest crown from Hornsea Project One as they are built out back-to-back.
Powering up as it was built, Race Bank saw Grimsby’s installed capacity pass 1GW last summer. When the next two are built, it will surpass 4GW, with Innogy’s Triton Knoll also anticipated to locate on the South Bank.
Race Bank is located 17 miles off Chapel St Leonards, with power coming ashore through The Wash. In keeping with the model, Orsted has retained 50 per cent of the farm, selling the balance to investors.
Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund Five holds 25 per cent, with Sumitomo Corporation in for 12.5 per cent and the balance held by funds advised by Green Investment Group, Arjun Investment Partners and Gravis Capital Management.
David Tilstone, managing director of Macquarie, said: “The delivery of this landmark project has set new standards for construction safety and speed, and marks a significant milestone in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. We are pleased to see the positive contribution Race Bank is already making to the Humber, and we look forward to working closely with our investment partners in the delivery of clean energy for years to come.”
Race Bank was completed at the end of January, with vessel Edda Passat arriving in early March.
It was given a baptism of fire – or wind – with spring’s Beast from the East pushing generation to over 90 per cent of the farm's capacity.