Dogger Bank launches ‘world’s first’ unmanned offshore HVDC substation

The facility is predicted to save hundreds of millions of pounds in costs

The Big Zero report

The team behind the Dogger Bank wind farm has unveiled what they say is the world’s first unmanned High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) offshore substation.

By eliminating the need for staff to be present on the platform, the project is forecast to be 70% lighter in weight compared to conventional platforms and save hundreds of millions of pounds in costs.

The Dogger Bank team has worked with the platform manufacturer Aibel to design the project.

When commissioned in 2026, Dogger Bank is predicted to produce enough electricity to power around 5% of the UK’s electricity demand.

A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni will deliver the project.

Jon Kippenes, Offshore Platform Manager for Dogger Bank, said: “We chose to use HVDC as it is much more efficient to transfer electricity over long distances.

“As the first project to do this in the UK we were faced with potentially high costs and uncertainty, but by taking learnings from unmanned installation in oil and gas and working closely with our supplier we have designed an innovative and safe platform with huge reductions in weight.

“This of course lowers the cost for this project but also sets a new standard for offshore HVDC platforms. The Dogger Bank transmission concept was turned from being the project’s Achilles heel into a competitive edge.”

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