Giant wind farm off east coast welcome news on road to Hull being 'renewables capital'
A HUGE wind farm off the East Yorkshire coast has been given the go-ahead, with 35 turbines to come from energy giant Siemens.
Dong Energy has confirmed it will build the 1bn euro (£822m) offshore wind farm Westermost Rough, 8km off the Yorkshire Coast, east of Hull.
The decision gives a further boost to plans for the £210m Siemens factory in Hull and is the first part of a huge framework deal.
Councillor Martin Mancey, Hull City Council's environment portfolio holder, welcomed the announcement by Dong to create the wind farm off the East Yorkshire coast.
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He said: "We want this part of the world to be seen as a renewables capital. It can only be good news."
Sam Pick, business development director of the Renewables Network, a Humber-based group that helps companies enter the renewables market, said: "Dong's announcement is extremely encouraging for the Humber's growing offshore wind industry and is, hopefully, a positive sign for the continued development of the Green Port Hull scheme.
"Westermost Rough, and similar developments, should also lead to significant benefits for local businesses in the supply chain, both in terms of the installation of offshore wind turbines and also the ongoing operation and maintenance of such sites.
"Hopefully, further wind energy projects, both on and offshore, will continue to progress through development as major investments, such as Green Port Hull, require a strong customer base."
Siemens and Dong Energy signed an agreement for the supply of 300 wind turbines, all of which are destined for wind farms off the UK coast, last summer.
Siemens confirmed to the Mail it would look to build a "portion" of these hi-tech turbines at its proposed new plant in the city.
The Green Port Hull scheme, at Alexandra Dock, would employ about 800 people and has already received planning approval from Hull City Council.
Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Danish company Dong Energy, said: "The size and location of the project is very well suited as the first large- scale project with the new Siemens 6 megawatt turbine.
"We are sure this project is a good foundation in our continuous work to bring down the cost of offshore wind.
"The UK offshore wind market is the biggest in the world and we are confident the UK market will continue to be a very interesting market to the offshore wind industry."
A spokesman for Siemens told the Mail previously the company would look to use the proposed Hull factory to build a "portion" of these machines, with the other turbines being put together in Denmark.
However, an exact breakdown is "yet to be determined".
Subject to outstanding agreements being secured, the Siemens factory could be operational by July 2014.
The 35 turbines at Westermost Rough will supply enough power to more than 200,000 British households.
Construction of the wind farm will begin in the first half of 2014 and the farm is expected to be fully commissioned in 2015.
Under the terms of the deal, Siemens will "design, manufacture, supply, install and service" the turbines.
Councillor Steven Bayes, regeneration portfolio holder at Hull City Council, said: "Any wind turbine production in the North which includes Siemens is good news for Hull but we are still awaiting that final decision on the Siemens factory."