THE world’s biggest offshore wind farm doubled in size yesterday after the Government backed plans for the second tranche of the massive project.
The Dogger Bank Teesside A and B project will see up to 400 turbines built on the large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea, around 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast, on top of the 400 consented in February.
A third and final tranche, amounting to another 400 turbines, is still awaiting approval.
Developer Forewind, a consortium of SSE, RWE, Statkraft and Statoil, said it should create “significant economic benefits, particularly for the north-eastern regions,” creating 4,750 direct and indirect jobs.
Able UK, the developers of a £440m marine energy park, on the banks of the Humber, which last month signed a memorandum of understanding with Danish energy giant Dong Energy, said the announcement was a “very significant milestone”.
Group development director Neil Etherington said: “In the medium to long term Dogger will be a major factor for the whole of the offshore wind sector given the scale and the opportunities.”
Trade body Renewables UK said that the UK offshore sector had committed to a target that would see 50 per cent of the entire content of the farms being made in Britain. Its head of communications Rob Norris said: “Look at the way the offshore wind industry is revitalising the Humber region, with Siemens building an offshore turbine plant in Green Port Hull. “This is just the start.”
He said the Government was asking offshore wind developers to produce a supply chain plan for each project showing how they would maximise the amount of UK content as a condition for getting financial support.
He added: “There’s a real drive within the industry to make sure we deliver the massive industrial benefits of offshore wind to Yorkshire and beyond.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne said: “Thanks to Government support the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy.
“As we build the Northern Powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project.”
Siemens is the biggest player in the UK offshore turbine market, followed by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, which used to be called Vestas and has a blade manufacturing plant on the Isle of Wight.
Gamesa joined forces with Areva in March to form a new company called Adwen which is also a significant contender.
Friends of the Earth, however, warned that Dogger Bank would only get built if the Government stopped its attacks on the green economy. A spokesman said the Treasury’s hostility to renewable energy meant the UK, the world leader in offshore wind, risked “rapidly falling behind,” and this year Germany could overtake the UK as Europe’s largest offshore wind market.