Offshore wind facility will be ‘game-changer’ for UK renewables

England’s east coast set to become a hub for wind power in the UK under Danish company Dong Energy’s plans.

Jessica Shankleman
Friday 23 September 2016 14:08
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Danish renewable energy company Dong is to create a ‘multi-million pound’ facility at the mouth of the Humber
Danish renewable energy company Dong is to create a ‘multi-million pound’ facility at the mouth of the Humber

A new offshore wind facility to be built off England’s east coast wil be “game changing” for the UK’s renewable energy supply, Dong Energy has claimed.

The Danish renewable energy company said on Thursday it would invest in a “multi-million pound” facility at the mouth of the River Humber as part of a drive to develop the area as the main hub for England’s offshore wind industry.

Dong, which was valued at $15bn in June and has installed more wind turbines at sea than anyone else, plans to expand its presence by building a facility allowing it to service at least three of its future wind farms in the North Sea, including a 580MW wind farm off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coast.

The hub, which could be completed in 2018, will be located about 15 miles from where Siemens has invested £160m in a blade-manufacturing facility in Hull about 30 miles south, helping to raise the profile of the Humber region as a key investment spot for the industry. Dong said it expects to invest about £6bn in the region by 2019.

“This new operational hub in Grimsby will be a game-changing industry first, raising the bar for the way we serve offshore wind farms,” Brent Cheshire, UK chairman for Dong, said.

“It will generate direct and indirect job opportunities in the Humber region, as well as opportunities for the local supply chain. It represents a massive vote of confidence to the UK offshore wind industry and confirms our commitment to the Humber region where by 2019 we expect to have invested around £6bn.”

The hub will host service boats designed by Rolls-Royce Holdings that will allow technicians to remain at sea for at least a month, improving the rate at which turbines can be serviced.

The vessels include a gangway for easy access to the turbines, removing the need for technicians to scale the towers on ladders. The first vessel, built by Norway’s Ostensjo Rederi, will arrive late 2017, according to the statement.

If the project receives planning permission, the hub will service the Dong’s Westermost Rough, Race Bank and Hornsea Project One offshore wind farms, as well as future projects nearby, according to the statement.

Bloomberg

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