North Star vessels to service Dogger Bank wind farm

March 17, 2021
The Dogger Bank A and B wind farm joint venture has awarded contracts totaling around £270 million ($375 million) to North Star Renewables.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway – The Dogger Bank A and B wind farm joint venture has awarded contracts totaling around £270 million ($375 million) to North Star Renewables.

North Star will provide three service operation vessels (SOVs) over a 10-year period (with extension options) for the initial two phases of the giant wind farm, 130 km (81 mi) offshore England’s northeast coast.

The vessels will be equipped with a hybrid battery solution and power-to-shore to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Technicians servicing the turbines will spend two weeks on board the vessels at the wind farm location to ensure the various phases are safely and efficiently maintained, allowing for optimized wind turbine availability.

SSE Renewables is the operator for the construction while Equinor will operate the operations and maintenance phase.

According to North Star, around 200 people will be required to operate the wind farm, based either offshore or at a new base at the Port of Tyne.

The company will establish a new permanent presence at the Port and will create 130 new full-time UK-based jobs in crewing and shore-based roles for the lifetime of the contract. 

Dogger Bank, due to be completed in 2026, is being built in three equal phases of 1.2 GW; Dogger Bank A, B, and C.

One SOV, to be allocated for scheduled maintenance at Dogger Bank A and B, is due to be delivered in January 2024. It will also serve Dogger Bank C when this phase becomes operational.

A further two SOVs for corrective maintenance purposes will be delivered at Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, with delivery scheduled for July 2023 and July 2024, respectively.

Equinor added that a further contract for an SOV to provide corrective maintenance at Dogger Bank C will be tendered at a later stage.

Each vessel will have DP-2 capability, with walk-to-work gangways for transfer of personnel and equipment to and from the turbines.

Using the gangways, technicians will be able to transfer safely in wave heights above 3 m (9.8 ft), increasing the productive time on turbines and optimizing the wind turbines’ availability.

Onshore construction for Dogger Bank A and B started in January 2020. Offshore installation is due to begin in 2022, with first power from Dogger Bank A anticipated later in the same year.

Dogger Bank A and B are a joint venture between Equinor (40%), SSE Renewables (40%), and Eni (20%). Dogger Bank C is owned by Equinor (50%) and SSE Renewables (50%): financial close is anticipated in late 2021.