Hecate Independent Power Limited (“HIP”) announces the launch of its HIP Atlantic Project for installing 10,000 MW of fixed and floating wind turbines in the North Atlantic connected to the United Kingdom by long-length, high-capacity, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power transmission cables. These cables are to be manufactured in the United Kingdom at a £200 million (US $277 million) bespoke power cable plant to be built at a port in the northeast of England. The total project cost is estimated at GBP £21 billion (US $30 billion).
HIP has lodged four connection applications with National Grid Company for an initial 4,000 MW of grid connections to the United Kingdom’s 400 kV electricity transmission system across four connection sites. Each wind farm – or pod – will be in a different North Atlantic location, and each pod consisting of 1,000 MW of wind turbines will have its own dedicated cable linked to the United Kingdom. Full dispatch of the HIP offshore wind pods will be under the exclusive control of the United Kingdom electricity system operator making HIP Atlantic Britain’s first captive wind farm in overseas territorial waters.
HIP Atlantic’s initial 2,000 MW of generation capacity, targeted to be off the southern and eastern coasts of Iceland, is expected to be commissioned in early 2025 to coincide with the United Kingdom’s de-commissioning of its last coal-fired power plants and the last of its original generation of commercial nuclear power plants. Crucially, the HIP Atlantic HVDC transmission cables will never connect to the Icelandic transmission system: the high availability wind capacity will be solely connected to the United Kingdom, dispatched by National Grid.
HIP’s planned offshore wind pods in the North Atlantic will all be installed in a different meteorological catchment area from current North Sea and Irish Sea wind farms and so HIP renewable electricity can be supplied at times when existing British wind farms are becalmed. This diversity of wind source provides a geographical portfolio effect to protect the UK transmission grid from too much offshore wind capacity installed in just one region.
HIP Atlantic aims to maximise the British manufactured content in every element of its equipment manufacturing and installation process: across offshore wind turbine and cable manufacture, installation and operations, HIP aims to create more long term, high value jobs across the United Kingdom than any previous wind farm connected to the National Grid. The initial 2,000 MW capacity alone will result in some 15,000 new jobs in the United Kingdom.
Iceland will be one a significant beneficiary of HIP Atlantic’s investment programme in offshore wind. The initial Icelandic investment for the first 2,000 MW pilot phase of the project is expected to be GBP £2.9 million (US $4 million) in 2021 rising to an additional GBP £144 million (US $200 million) through 2025. Up to 500 new jobs located in southern and eastern Iceland are associated with just the 2,000 MW pilot phase.
Speaking in London today HIP’s Chairman, Sir Tony Baldry, says: “HIP Atlantic fulfils the Prime Minister’s vision of attracting investment and job creation in the North of England as part of this country’s ambitious policy to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind energy. We will stretch the zone of British-operated wind generation outside of our traditional territorial waters, pushing the boundaries of existing cable technology to generate over 1,000 kms from our grid landfall points throughout England.”
HIP is an Anglo-American joint venture. HIP is comprised of Hecate Wind LLC (“Hecate”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hecate Holdings LLC which is a leading North American renewable energy developer and majority owner of Hecate Energy LLC, and Independent Power Corporation PLC, Britain’s leading developer of conventional power plants internationally.