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Huge offshore wind plan to go ahead

A huge offshore wind project in an area some 64 miles off the coast of Yorkshire which will produce enough electricity to power 800,000 homes has been given the green light by the Government.

The Hornsea Project One scheme will be made up of three wind farms, totalling between 150 and 332 wind turbines.

Ministers said the project will support up to 2,500 local jobs and bring millions of pounds into the UK economy.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “With around 2,500 local green jobs on the horizon, this is another great boost for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

“Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial to creating job and business opportunities in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports.

“Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”

Hornsea Project One, a joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures GmbH, and Dong Energy, and is one of eight renewable energy schemes awarded early contracts under a new scheme for green energy subsidies.

Consent for the project has been given on the condition that it has an employment and skills plan approved by North Lincolnshire Council, including local advertising of jobs and supply chain opportunities.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Simon Bowens said: “This is fantastic news for the blossoming offshore wind industry on the North Sea coast.

“Offshore wind is providing clean, reliable energy, while creating jobs and boosting energy security far more effectively than fracking.

“The UK could be an offshore wind powerhouse, but the Government must show much greater ambition if we are to reap the full benefits and continue to drive down costs in the years ahead.”

Industry body RenewableUK’s director of offshore renewables, Nick Medic, said: “The green light for Hornsea is a much-needed boost for the offshore wind sector. It represents a vote of confidence from the Government in our industry.

“We are one step closer to seeing the multitude of benefits that this ambitious project will bring to the region and to the UK as a whole – in terms of job creation, economic regeneration, generating clean electricity and increasing Britain’s energy security.”