A second phase of consultations for a gigantic wind farm is about to launch, as the consortium behind it welcomed the Government’s future subsidy proposals.
Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures are leading the SMart Wind development, which could when completed feed in 4GW of power to the National Grid – via a sub station at North Killingholme.
The Round Three wind farm, in Hornsea, also opens up all manner of opportunities for construction and operations and maintenance from the Humber ports, due to the close proximity off the East Yorkshire coast, at Hornsea.
The meetings with communities on which the cable route could impact come against a back drop of concerns that the slight reduction in funding from Government by way of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), released last week, could see projects re-evaluated.
But Dr Eddie O’Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power, said: “I welcome the UK Government’s announcement that it intends to continue its support for the growing offshore wind and marine renewables sector.
“The UK has a massive opportunity to consolidate its global leadership position in offshore wind, which will bring energy security, stable electricity prices, and industrial development to this country.
“As the largest independent offshore wind developer in the UK, Mainstream Renewable Power is committed to matching the Government’s support for our sector by reiterating our determination to deliver the jobs, the renewable energy, and the cost reductions that will help to build this country’s new low-carbon economy.
“Within that new economy it will be offshore wind that will deliver the lion’s share of the investment, the growth in new industries, and the value add, such that by the middle of this century it has been predicted that the UK could be a net exporter of electricity, delivering from its offshore resources the electricity equivalent of 1-billion barrels of oil a year. It has always been our intention to be the first to deliver offshore wind farms in Round 3 and the Scottish Territorial Waters Round, and I can restate our intention to have our Scottish project, Neart na Gaoithe, into construction in 2013, and the first 2GW of our Round 3 Zone into construction in 2014 within the timeframe of the Government’s 2 ROC envelope.”
As reported on Friday, the Government support level for offshore wind would be reduced from 2 ROCs to 1.9 ROCs from April 2015, and to 1.8 ROCs in April 2016.
Dr O’Connor, an early supporter of Able UK’s proposed Marine Energy Park at North Killingholme, having labelled it as “potentially the biggest and most appropriate port for offshore wind development in Europe”, said: “It is clear that offshore wind is already creating value and delivering jobs across the supply chain in the Tyne, Tees and Humber regions from steel fabrication to vessel construction, and from large-scale port infrastructure investment to electric component manufacture.
“At Mainstream we have taken a hands-on approach to engaging with the supply chain in the UK, investing in skills and training initiatives, and working with partners to deliver real jobs and investment in this new economy.”
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