Wind energy technical services provider Boston Energy has helped the world’s largest offshore wind farm generate its first power, in a key milestone for the UK’s transition to net zero.
Boston Energy is undertaking the onshore commissioning and completion, offshore mechanical and electrical (M&E) completion and offshore commissioning elements of the Dogger Bank project for the wind farm’s turbine manufacturer, GE Vernova.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s largest wind farm when operational, as it will be capable of powering up to six million UK homes.
First power was achieved at Dogger Bank in early October, with the first 277 turbines installed. Each rotation of a turbine can produce enough clean energy to power an average home for two days.
Located between 130km and 190km off the North East coast of England at their nearest points, each of the three phases, A, B and C, will have an installed generation capacity of 1.2GW based on GE Vernova’s Haliade-X wind turbine platform.
Boston Energy has been awarded major multi-million pound contracts to support the installation programme, representing the largest ever single award in the offshore wind sector for technical manpower services and cementing Boston Energy’s position as the pre-eminent supplier in this field.
At full scope, there will be in excess of 190 highly-skilled individuals on the project, all of whom will be UK based.
Nathan Fahey, Project Director at GE Vernova, said: “We have been working with Boston Energy since the contract award for offshore commissioning of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm and I’m really pleased to have them as a trusted partner as we move into the operational phase of the project.
“I trust the team will deliver the expected results, at the quality and execution standards we want to provide to our customer.
“We are very much looking forward to working with Boston Energy to help us deliver this fantastic project utilising our Haliade-X turbines. Delivering this project will significantly enhance the UK’s net zero ambitions and help make a substantial dent in CO2 emissions.”
Roles provided by Boston Energy for Dogger Bank include commissioning supervisors and technicians, vessel administrators, mechanical and electrical technicians and rope access technicians.
Boston Energy is committed to supporting local employment, with more than 50 onshore workers and 90 offshore workers – plus an office team of seven – being employed in the North East and Teesside area.
Boston Energy has provided high-quality services to the global wind industry, working onshore and offshore, since 2012, with experienced teams across the globe working under a one-team approach to provide on-time, in-depth support to reduce turbine downtime and maximise efficiency on site.
With an already wide range of services including pre-assembly, construction and commissioning, service and maintenance, major correctives, blade works and technical training, Boston Energy is continuously expanding its offering to support clients’ requirements, with recent additions including heavy lift (MCE) and high voltage.
Having successfully delivered more than 100 projects across the UK, Europe, North America, and Taiwan in that time, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is the latest project added to Boston Energy’s portfolio.
Julian Cattermole, CEO of Boston Energy, said: “We’re thrilled that GE Vernova have entrusted us to deliver the onshore and offshore commissioning of this truly exciting, and transformative project.
“GE has recognised that Boston Energy has a very strong track record of delivering exceptional quality on its projects as well as ensuring it delivers to budget and to the highest safety and environmental standards.
“We now need to get on and deliver to those same exacting standards that GE Vernova expects.”
With GE Vernova’s support, Boston Energy is expanding the opportunities for local technicians in the North East to progress in the wind industry and join this remarkable project.
To demonstrate its commitment to local content, Boston Energy has employed 80 per cent of its offshore team and 85 per cent of its onshore team from the North East, supporting clean energy jobs in the region.
As well as providing local technicians to the Dogger Bank project, Boston Energy is providing further opportunities for the local community at its newly-opened, on-site office, having already employed a local team supporting the Dogger Bank operations, with plans to expand further as the project develops.
The project comes at an exciting time for Boston Energy, as leading private equity investor LDC has made a significant investment in the company as it targets further international expansion, helping to respond to the growing demand for services at pace and increasing investment in technicians.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture partnership between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Vårgrønn (20%) with SSE Renewables leading on the development and construction, while Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion, for its expected operational life of around 35 years.
Simon Bailey, Dogger Bank Wind Farm Commercial Director for SSE, said: “It’s great to see another key contractor creating job opportunities to support the construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
“Construction and commissioning of turbine technology is a critical element of our programme that will help us to steadily ramp up to full operating capacity of 3.6GW by 2026.”
The Dogger Bank project is due to be completed in 2026 and Boston Energy is looking forward to working closely with GE Vernova throughout the next three years and beyond.