The wind farm is due to connect in 2014 to National Grid’s existing 400kV substation at Killingholme, located in the Humber area.
SMart Wind, a 50-50 joint venture between Siemens Project Ventures and Mainstream Renewable Power, said the connection agreement puts the first 1GW of the project on track to begin construction in 2014. The remaining 3GW is planned for construction between 2015 and 2020.
Hornsea is the third largest zone to be awarded a site development licence by the Crown Estate under its Round 3 offshore wind programme.
The zone covers an area of 4735km and lies between 34km and 190km off the coast of Yorkshire. Water depths are predominantly between 30metres and 40metres, but vary up to 70metres.
In spring this year the consortium began site environmental surveys for the full 4GW, as well as more detailed surveys for the first gigawatt of wind farms. The surveys include bird and mammal observations, geophysics, marine ecology and recordings of wind and waves.