THE world’s largest offshore wind farm, run by SSE and Equinor, will welcome a colossal new ship to the project. 

Jan De Nul-owned Voltaire, a new offshore jack-up installation vessel, with a lifting capacity of over 3000 tonnes and standing taller than the Eiffel tower, is the largest of its kind in the world.

The Voltaire will transport and install the world’s largest offshore wind turbines, GE’s Haliade-X, at Dogger Bank, which sits 130km off the Yorkshire coast. Dogger Bank is a 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables which when complete, will generate enough energy to power over 4.5 million homes every year – around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs.

The National: Dogger Bank will be the world's largest wind farm, able to generate 5% of the UK's electricity needsDogger Bank will be the world's largest wind farm, able to generate 5% of the UK's electricity needs

The announcement marks the first contract placed for Voltaire, which will enter into service in 2022.

The vessel, named after the pioneering European Enlightenment philosopher, is fitted with a highly advanced exhaust filtering system, making it the very first seagoing installation vessel of its kind to be an ultra-low emission vessel.

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Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables, said: “Dogger Bank is an industry-leading project and we, along with our joint venture partners Equinor, are very excited to welcome another industry leader, Jan De Nul Group, to the development of the largest offshore wind farm in the world.”

Halfdan Brustad, vice-president for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said: “Dogger Bank represents the leading edge of the offshore wind industry. We and SSE Renewables believe the addition of Jan De Nul Group’s ground-breaking vessel to our project will drive the industry forward and make it more competitive.”

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Steve Wilson, project director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms, added: “Jan De Nul Group has a proven track record of transporting and installing new-generation offshore wind turbines at scale. Delivering Dogger Bank will be a testament to the skills and expertise of all of our partners in the supply chain, so we are very pleased to welcome Jan De Nul Group on board. Bringing the Voltaire vessel into the Dogger Bank project means we now have the most innovative turbines on the market being installed by the largest jack up vessel ever seen in the industry.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farms secured 3.6GW of offshore wind contracts in the UK Government’s recent contracts for difference auctions.