Humber Gateway, a proposed £300 million offshore wind farm located just a few miles off Spurn Point, has been given the go-ahead by the Government.
Energy company E.ON has been granted permission to build the 77-turbine wind farm, which will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes and could create 1,000 jobs during construction.
And lying just a few miles from Grimsby, it looks like it could be a boost for a growing operations and maintenance centre, with permanent jobs further down the line.
Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “Offshore wind not only provides clean, green, secure energy, the investment that comes with it is great for the UK economy, too.
“A new wind farm off the Humberside coast will be a further jobs and investment boost for the region, hot on the heels of Siemens’ announcement of plans to develop the Port of Hull.”
Michael Lewis, managing director for E.ON’s European renewables business, said: “It’s essential that we continue to invest in renewable technologies and this is further recognition of our expertise in the sector generally and in offshore wind in particular.”
John Fitzgerald, ABP’s port director for Grimsby and Immingham, said: “This is great news for the region, particularly as it follows so close behind Siemens’ recent decision to nominate Green Port Hull as its preferred site for its proposed wind turbine factory.
“The supply chain benefits offered by the Humber’s established ports are key factors in winning this new business for our region. The Port of Immingham is in line to play a role in installation and supply chain support, and Grimsby is the ideal option for new operations and maintenance bases to service these new offshore sites.
“The port’s business and energy generation has always been inextricably linked and the developing low-carbon economy will also be based around the operations of the river. This will create long-term, high quality jobs in the region.”
Humber Gateway was supported by North East Lincolnshire Council in July 2008.
The portfolio holder for regeneration and strategic housing, Councillor Geoff Lowis, said: “The location of this wind farm so close to the developing operations and maintenance base in the Port of Grimsby East will, I am sure, create new business and job opportunities. It will also further strengthen Grimsby and the Humber’s valid claims to be at the centre of the UK offshore wind industry.
“This decision will also add further weight to the Able Port development, which has a significant opportunity to deliver turbine manufacture for developments in the North Sea and beyond.”
Kurt Christensen, managing director of Windpower Support, a Grimsby-based operation providing solutions to the industry, said: “This is great news. It should be a real boost for the fish docks, especially when it comes to operations and maintenance.”
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