Hornsea 1 wind farm to pay millions as a result of blackout

Orsted-run Hornsea 1, the world’s largest operating offshore wind farm, will pay £4.5m ($5.9m) as a result of its part in a massive blackout that left more than a million people in the UK without power last summer.

The 1.2GW Hornsea 1, which is off the eastern coast of England, dropped off the network, the result of a wider sequence of failures that hit the UK system last August. There was a simultaneous disconnection by a gas-fired plant – whose operator RWE will pay the same sum. The event was triggered by a lightning strike on a transmission line.

UK energy regulator Ofgem said that “consumers and businesses rely on generators and network companies to provide a secure and stable power supply. August 9th showed how much disruption and distress is caused to consumers across the UK when this does not happen. That is why it is right that companies that were unable to keep generating have paid into our consumer redress fund.”

Denmark-based Orsted told Recharge that “together with every organisation involved with the UK electricity system, we work hard to provide a reliable, resilient service and take any interruption very seriously. The power outage on August 9th was caused by an extremely rare sequence of events, involving a number of parties, and the issue we experienced at Hornsea 1 was quickly resolved. However, in recognition of our role in the outage, we have offered to make a voluntary contribution to Ofgem’s redress fund. We have co-operated with Ofgem throughout their investigations and conducted a thorough internal review of the events in order to prevent a situation like this from happening again. We will continue to work hard to bring clean, carbon free electricity to millions of homes across the UK.”