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Race Bank crosses the construction finish line with full power achieved and praise for town team

GRIMSBY’S newest operational wind farm, Race Bank, has achieved full power. 

Race Bank crosses the construction finish line with full power achieved and praise for town team

Installation of the wind turbines began in May last year, completing days before Christmas, and after sailing through a 240-hour acceptance test of all 91 turbines, and the 200-hour test of the full park, the project is now capable of generating its full capacity of 573 megawatts. 

During the commissioning process of the final turbines, located within a 75 sq km zone 17 miles off the Lincolnshire coast, Race Bank also passed one terawatt hour of production.

One wind turbine generator was installed in just over 11 hours – a record for the Ørsted team co-ordinating the build-out from Port of Grimsby East, while the whole commissioning process has exceeded expectations.

David Summers, project director for Race Bank, said: “Full power and one terawatt hour of production are two fantastic milestones and have been achieved by the hard work and dedication of a significant number of people. Full power means that Race Bank can now produce enough green energy to power over half a million UK homes.

“Not only have we achieved full power on schedule, but we have also done so safely, without compromising our high standards. I now look forward to completing final activities on Race Bank and being able to officially open the project in the summer.”  

Race Bank uses Siemens Gamesa 6MW wind turbines and many of these turbines feature the first blades to be manufactured at the Hull blade factory.  

It is also the first offshore wind farm out of the Humber, and Ørsted’s first, to use a new service operation vessel for operations and maintenance. The next generation addition can remain out at sea with the O&M team for up to 28 days at a time, and will greatly improve the efficiency of maintaining the project, from the expanding Royal Dock base, already home to Westermost Rough, with Hornsea Project One – now under construction – to follow. 

It has just launched a recruitment campaign for a further 75 offshore wind farm technicians as it ramps up to a 500-strong team in the coming years at its East Coast Hub.

Ørsted owns a 50 per cent stake in Race Bank, with investors Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5, Macquarie Capital and Sumitomo Corporation holding the balance. When agreed in December 2016 it was seen as a huge confidence boost in the sector, as it came prior to construction beginning.  

Generating as stages of construction completed, the spoils have helped the Danish giant improve its business performance, while capitalising on the favourable winter conditions. January saw a UK first of 10GW of wind energy captured, as conditions and capacity increases collaborated. 

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