Yorkshire 'one of biggest winners' as offshore wind set to power 6 million more homes

Yorkshire is set to be "one of the biggest winners" in the country from new contracts awarded by the Government for offshore wind.

General view of the Race Bank development, the fifth biggest wind farm in the world that opened in 2018 Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
General view of the Race Bank development, the fifth biggest wind farm in the world that opened in 2018 Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Four of the latest projects to get the green light are on Dogger Bank, 130 kms off the East Coast, and should support jobs in the ports of Hull and Grimsby, which are hubs for the burgeoning industry, as well as powering nearly six million homes. Around 3,000 people are already employed in offshore wind, directly and indirectly.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said: “Offshore wind has transformed Hull and Grimsby, which have become centres of excellence in clean technology, supporting over 3,000 local jobs and bringing billions in investment.

“Today’s announcement means offshore wind will become even more important to the region’s economy in the decades ahead – as well ensuring that Yorkshire remains at the forefront in taking action against climate change”.

Currently blades for other North Sea projects are being made at the Siemens Gamesa factory at Alexandra Dock in Hull, where 1,000 workers are employed, while hundreds more are employed at Ørsted’s operations and maintenance hub in Grimsby.

Energy firm Innogy, a subsidiary of German company RWE is currently constructing its own hub, and is recruiting staff from an adjacent site at Grimsby Docks.

It comes as the price for wind has hit a record low of below £40 per megawatt hour of electricity.

Work starts on world's largest wind farm and it's right here in YorkshireWhy fracking in Yorkshire will be less visible than building more turbinesMark O’Reilly, chief executive of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said there was further good news with the announcement of the latest auction of seabed rights for offshore wind “all the way up the East Coast which should give the industry a pipeline for years to come.”

He added: “Geographically we occupy a sweet spot.” He said they would have to wait to see who won the contracts to supply the turbines - but added: “You are certainly going to have more operations and maintenance at Grimsby and construction jobs.”

Prices for new offshore wind farms in the latest auction for the contracts - which guarantee a set price for power from renewable schemes - have fallen by 30 per cent since the last auction in 2017, to as low as £39.65 per megawatt hour.

It means for the first time, renewables are expected to come online below market prices and without an additional subsidy on bills, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.

THREE of the six winning bids for offshore wind - Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck B and Dogger Bank Teeside A - are being brought forward Equinor and SSE and will together power over 4.5 million homes a year.

The first two farms are planned to connect into the National Grid at the existing Creyke Beck substation at Cottingham, near Hull.

A fourth - Sofia (formerly Dogger Bank Teesside B) - being developed by Innogy - will power 1.2 million homes a year.

The price of offshore wind has fallen two-thirds since the first auctions for the contracts were held in 2015.