WIND: Creating jobs and supporting the economy
Costing £1.3billion and generating enough clean electricity to power more than 500,000 homes, the second largest offshore wind farm in the world has been officially opened by Energy and Business Minister Michael Fallon.
Greater Gabbard, located off the coast of Suffolk, has 140 turbines – and will double in size once the Galloper wind farm extension is completed in 2017.
Offshore wind has the potential to provide enough clean power for 11million homes in the UK by the end of this decade, creating 30,000 jobs and contributing £7billion to the economy.
Mr Fallon said: “The UK leads the world in offshore wind power generation with more capacity than the rest of the world combined, and we want to see this sector grow even further.
“Greater Gabbard has already brought jobs and wider benefit to the local community, with hundreds of people employed on site, and a £150,000 fund created to support local initiatives, which will be managed by Suffolk Community Foundation.
“It has also benefited local business.
“Today, I visited Seajacks, a British company based in Great Yarmouth, who are building the world’s largest and most advanced offshore wind farm installation vessel to transport turbines out to this great wind farm.
“This sector is an engine of our economy.
“By the end of this decade, tens of thousands of additional jobs could be created in the supply-chain for offshore wind throughout the UK.”
The Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, published last week, sets out government and industry’s joint plans to help build a thriving UK supply chain for offshore wind.
Investment by the government includes £20million from the Regional Growth Fund to improve the UK wind industry’s supply chain.
A further £46million supports joining-up innovation between industry, government and academia to help companies to bring new products to market.