Dogger Bank developers unveil O&M base plans

In: Windfarms
25/03/2021

The developers of the Dogger Bank wind farms have revealed the design for the multi-million pound Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base to support the project. Subject to planning approval, the base will be constructed in the Port of Tyne and will serve as the main hub for operating the wind farm.


SSE Renewables is leading on construction of the wind farm, and Equinor will operate for its lifetime of up to 35 years. It is expected to create over 200 direct jobs in the North East of England.


Some roles, such as planners, engineers and management, will be based onshore, while other roles such as wind turbine technicians will be based offshore at the wind farm itself, with staff living for two weeks at a time on a vessel over 130km out to sea. The main recruitment activity is expected from 2022.


Working with international design practice Ryder Architecture, headquartered in Newcastle, Equinor has designed the O&M Base to be built using environmentally friendly materials. EV chargers, solar panels and efficient heating systems have been included to ensure the facility has a low carbon impact.


As well as offices for those based onshore and a warehouse to store spare parts for the wind farm, the design includes development of a new quay suitable for the Service Operations Vessels (SOVs) that provide accommodation, and transport for technicians to and from the wind farm. The vessels will come to the port approximately twice a month for resupply and crew change.


Halfdan Brustad, vice president for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said: “Dogger Bank is set to have a huge impact in the North East of England. On top of the hundreds of direct jobs the project creates, opportunities from the project will reach many others in the region from industry suppliers to catering companies.

“Over the last month investment for a new manufacturing facility in Teesside has been announced, set to provide the 107m turbine blades to Dogger Bank, and the contract for our three operations vessels has been awarded to a Scottish company, creating further jobs in Scotland and the North East.


“We specifically chose a local firm, Ryder, to work closely with in designing this flagship facility, and have ensured it is both environmentally sustainable and future-fit in order to attract the best local talents to join our team. We share the final designs with pride and can’t wait to get started!”
 

The plans for the O&M facility have been submitted to South Tyneside Council for a planning application. The construction contractor will be appointed in the coming months.

The Dogger Bank wind farms are located more than 130 km from the Yorkshire coast. Due to its size and scale, the overall wind farm is being built in three consecutive 1.2 GW phases. The project partners reached financial close on the first two phases,
Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, at the beginning of December. Further to Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, the project companies are also developing the Dogger Bank C project for which it is expected that a financial decision will come in late 2021. The projects will be capable of powering up to 4.5 UK million homes each year when complete in 2026. Each project is expected to generate around 6 TWh of electricity annually.

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