HIP plans wind power exports to UK from pods offshore Iceland

May 24, 2021
Hecate Independent Power has initiated its HIP Atlantic wind power project.

Offshore staff

CHICAGO – Hecate Independent Power (HIP) has initiated its HIP Atlantic wind power project.

This involves installing 10,000 MW of fixed and floating wind turbines in the North Atlantic connected to the UK by long-length, high-capacity, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power transmission cables.

A specially designed, $277-million complex at a port in northeast England will manufacture the cables.

HIP estimates the total project cost at $30 billion. It has submitted four connection applications with National Grid Co. for an initial 4,000 MW of grid connections to the UK’s 400-kV electricity transmission system across four connection sites.

Each wind farm – or pod – will be at a different location in the North Atlantic, and each will comprise 1,000 MW of wind turbines with a dedicated cable linked to the UK.

All the wind pods will be under the exclusive control of the UK electricity system operator making this Britain’s first ‘captive’ wind farm in overseas territorial waters.

HIP Atlantic is aiming to have the initial 2,000 MW of generation capacity, from pods off the southern and eastern coasts of Iceland, commissioned in early 2025.

But the HIP Atlantic HVDC transmission cables will not connect to the Icelandic transmission system.

In addition, the planned pods in the North Atlantic will all be in a different meteorological area from current North Sea and Irish Sea wind farms, allowing the UK grid system to receive renewable electricity at times when existing UK wind farms are becalmed.

HIP also claims the project could create more long-term jobs across the UK than previous wind farms connected to the National Grid, with the initial 2,000 MW capacity alone resulting in around 15,000 new positions.

Up to 500 new jobs are expected to be created in southern and eastern Iceland for the 2,000 MW pilot phase.

HIP is an Anglo-American joint venture between Hecate Wind LLC and Independent Power Corp.  

Separately, HIP Atlantic is working on a new HVDC cable manufacturing facility with an associated deepwater berth for loading cable lay vessels more than 275 m (902 ft) long.

It is also in talks with a group of ship owners to modify existing vessels to lay the long lengths of HVDC cable required to connect wind turbine capacity to the UK at connection points on the 400-kV transmission system.

These will be the largest dedicated power cable vessels in operation in the world operated mainly by British crews.