A CHC AW139 flies first flight Ørsted’s Hornsea Project One. Photo courtesy of CHC
CHC is officially flying a wind farm project. The operator said Wednesday it has performed the first flight of the initial phase of Ørsted’s Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm.
Hornsea Project One is set to be the biggest wind farm in the world, according to CHC. It is capable of supplying electricity to more than 1 million homes. The farm is to be built nearly 75 miles off the coast of Yorkshire in the UK.
“This is the first ever wind farm in the world to be built at this scale, and it’s bringing great benefits to the U.K. and the Humber region,” said Duncan Clark, Hornsea Project One program director. “We’re thrilled to see UK companies being able to offer their services as we take huge strides in expanding the offshore wind sector here in the UK.”
To fulfill the contract, CHC plans to fly a combination of Leonardo AW139s and AW169s based at Humberside Airport’s heliport starting in April. They are to support the construction and support phases of the project. Both the services and operations for this contract will be based from Humberside, CHC said.
CHC is working with Uni-Fly on this six-year deal. It covers the construction phase as well as the first five years of operations and maintenance of the wind farm.
Helicopters are being used to transport workers and equipment both during the construction and operational phases. The contract also has CHC transferring people from shore to the wind farm and also smaller helicopters to transfer people and tools between the turbines and substations.
“It is a privilege to be part of this landmark project. “We continue to invest in our Humberside facilities, our equipment and training to take on unique projects just like this one and are eager to show how our business and technical skills can support this mission,” said CHC Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa Mark Abbey. “This also helps drive CHC’s long-term strategy to broaden our range of services to the energy market and continue to grow our renewables service alongside our oil and gas, and search and rescue service.”
Waypoint Leasing identified the offshore wind farm market as having potential opportunities. The firm said boats have generally been the main mode of transportation because wind farms have been built near-shore. As they move further from the coast, helicopters emerge as a “more economical” mode of transportation, according to Waypoint’s report.