Next Gust tariff - our collaboration with the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

leaf and flash windfarm

Next Gust tariff: Harnessing wind power off the Yorkshire coast.

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve signed an agreement with Ørsted, a leading renewable energy group, to buy power and certificates generated from Hornsea 2 wind farm. On 1 April 2024, we entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ørsted. Hornsea 2 is the world’s largest offshore wind farm, located 55 miles off the Yorkshire coast. It’s a spectacular site, and we’re thrilled to have secured this agreement to bring 100% renewable electricity backed by a local Yorkshire wind farm to the market. We’ll be doing this with a brand new tariff, Next Gust.

Read on to learn what it took to pull this project off, and what it means for our customers. 

Bringing UK wind power to our customers with our Next Gust tariff.

We've launched an exciting new tariff called Next Gust, with electricity backed by the Hornsea 2 wind farm. With Next Gust, new and existing customers can fix their prices until 31 March 2025, Next Gust will still feature all the great benefits of a standard E.ON Next fixed tariff, including dedicated Energy Specialists and access to great deals on home energy tech.

Hornsea 2 - engineering the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

To support the development and growth of the UK’s renewable energy sector, the government holds regular auctions to give energy companies the opportunity to bid and secure Contracts for Difference (CfD)¹. The CfD scheme gives renewable energy developers a guaranteed price for the electricity they generate from a new project. The goal of these auctions is to unlock investment by energy companies into large-scale renewable energy projects. 

Hornsea 2 began life in 2017 when the UK government awarded Ørsted a CfD to build an offshore wind farm². At the time the CfD offered was the lowest price ever at £57.50/MWh, 50% lower than an earlier round of CfD allocations just two years before. This presented a huge challenge to Ørsted: to build not only the world’s biggest, but also best value wind farm, involving teams on-site in Yorkshire and Singapore. 

From the get-go, the project faced headwinds. Two years in, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Despite taking a proactive approach to pandemic working practices and restrictions, Ørsted had to pause construction in Singapore for five months, delaying completion of the 8,000 ton offshore substation that forms a critical part of the wind farm. Delivery of the substation was further disrupted by Red Sea shipping delays. Then the omicron variant broke out in December 2021, and severe stormy weather hit the site in February 2022. Far from plain sailing!

Despite these challenges, Ørsted managed to complete this Herculean task, setting a new Guinness World Record in the process. Hornsea 2 began operating on 31 August 2022, and is now kept running by a team of over 600 at Ørsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby. Here’s some stats showing the sheer scale of the project and what it took to bring it to life³.

  • 8,000 people worked on Hornsea 2, with 6,000 on the ground and at sea in Yorkshire.

  • Each ship used during construction carried 4,000 tonnes of equipment on each trip.

  • Hornsea 2 covers 287 sq miles - that’s 31 times the size of Lake Windermere, or 66,000 Grimsby Town FC stadiums.

  • 165 turbines cover the area, using a total of 495 turbine blades.

  • Each turbine blade is 81m long, and the blade tip is more than 200m above sea level at its highest point.

  • Roughly 236 miles of export cables were installed on the project - that’s the distance between Grimsby and Amsterdam.

Today the giant turbines of Hornsea 2 are renewable energy superheroes, generating 1.32 GW. That’s a massive amount of electricity and enough to supply 1.4 million homes. Just one Hornsea 2 turbine rotation generates enough electricity to power a home for 24 hours. As of 2020, wind turbines accounted for around 24% of the UK’s electricity, and projects like Hornsea 2 are helping the UK to boost this figure further. 

Character Flash holding a map of the UK where Yorkshire is circled, to the right is a zoomed in image of the area within the circle that shows the Yorkshire coast with the Hornsea 2 wind farm in the north sea.

While Hornsea 2 is a game changer and proof of the dynamism of the UK’s offshore wind industry, Ørsted aren’t resting on their laurels. With the wind in their sails, their plans for an even more ambitious project, Hornsea 3, are well underway off the coast of Yorkshire. This even larger wind farm will be further offshore  and cover 432 sq miles. Hornsea 3 will be capable of delivering a capacity of 2.9 GW, enough to power 3.2 million UK homes.

Learn more about the power of wind farms.

What is renewable energy?

Wind. Solar. Hydroelectric. Biomass. Renewable energy has taken root at the heart of the climate conversation. But how much do you actually know about renewable energy?

The Independent’s Decomplicated series, in partnership with E.ON Next, explores the renewable energy transition on the road to net zero, and answers fundamental questions relating to renewables, such as where it comes from and how it is harnessed.

What’s a PPA and how are Ørsted and E.ON Next working together?

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) are made between energy companies like Ørsted that invest in energy infrastructure, and energy companies like us, whose customers use energy. Simply put, Ørsted invests in building infrastructure and generating electricity at Hornsea 2 and we agree to buy a set amount of that electricity. We can then use this renewable electricity to offset the demand from our customers. Which brings us nicely onto our plans for Hornsea 2’s homegrown Yorkshire wind energy. 

Bringing UK wind power to our customers.

We've a new tariff called Next Gust, with electricity backed by the Hornsea 2 wind farm. With Next Gust, new and existing customers can fix their prices until 31 March 2025. The Next Gust tariff will still feature all the great benefits of a standard E.ON Next fixed tariff, including dedicated Energy Specialists and access to exclusive deals on home energy efficiency technology.

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Published 09/04/2024