Hecate Independent Power (HIP) has announced it will build an enormous, $30 billion offshore wind project off the coast of Iceland that will power the UK using long subsea cables.

HIP Atlantic Project

HIP is an Anglo-American joint venture. It’s made up of Hecate Wind, a subsidiary of Hecate Holdings, a North American renewable energy developer and majority owner of Hecate Energy, and Independent Power Corporation, a UK-based global power plant developer that previously focused on building gas-fired plants. 

The HIP Atlantic Project will consist of 10 gigawatts (GW) of fixed and floating wind turbines. They’ll be connected to the UK by long-length, high-capacity, high-voltage direct current submarine power transmission cables. The cables will be manufactured in the UK at a £200 million ($277 million) bespoke power cable plant that will be built at a port in northeast England. 

HIP will develop 2 GW of capacity off Iceland’s southern and eastern coasts, which is expected to come online by early 2025. The timing was planned to coincide with the UK’s decommissioning of its last coal-fired power plants and original generation of commercial nuclear power plants. 

Geographical diversity

The geographical diversity, i.e., not near the existing North Sea and Irish Sea offshore wind farms, was deliberate – “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 writes.

HIP has made four connection applications for an initial 4 GW of grid connections – 1 GW per wind farm – to the UK’s National Grid. This project is calling the farms wind “pods,” and each of the four pods will be in a different location in the North Atlantic with its own subsea cable. The wind pods will not be connected to the Icelandic grid.

The initial 2 GW capacity will result in around 15,000 new jobs in the UK and around 500 new jobs in Iceland.

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