Wind Energy – Unmanned HVDC Platform
Construction of what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, has reached another milestone with the installation of the world’s first unmanned High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) offshore substation.
The substation is the first of three platforms, to be installed at Dogger Bank, which is being constructed in three 1.2GW phases known as A, B and C.
The innovative offshore platform has a lean design and is the first unmanned HVDC platform which will be operated from shore and accessed only by a Service Operations Vessel.
The platform will receive 1.2GW of AC power from Dogger Bank A’s 95 offshore wind turbines and convert it to DC, which will then be sent ashore to an onshore convertor station near Beverley in East Riding of Yorkshire.
Fitted with Hitachi Energy’s latest generation HVDC converter technology, Dogger Bank will be the first offshore wind project in the UK to use this technology to transmit the electricity produced back to shore, ensuring that the electricity is transmitted efficiently over long distances while minimising losses.
The platform will be controlled from shore and by removing the need for personnel to stay on the platform meant it has been possible to eliminate elements such as the living quarters, helideck and sewage systems, resulting in a 70% reduction in weight (per megawatt) of the topside compared to previous platforms installed, and cost savings of hundreds of millions of pounds.