By DARA BUTTERFIELD
The Government has given the go-ahead a major new ‘triple-pack’ offshore wind project which is expected to create some 2,500 jobs in construction and installation.
The Hornsea-1 project 60 miles off Yorkshire was one of the eight projects awarded an early ‘FID-er’ investment contract in April – including the 664MW Beatrice offshore wind project in the Moray Firth.
Hornsea 1 will have an installed capacity of 1.2GW – enough to power more than 841,000 British homes. And is the first project to be developed in the Hornsea Zone, an area earmarked for several offshore wind farm developments with a total potential capacity of 4GW. The developer Smart Wind is a joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures and Dong Energy.
These investment contracts are a key component in the Government’s Electricity Market Reform programme – reforms which will see competition and markets attract tens of billions of pounds of vital energy investment whilst reducing the costs of clean energy to consumers.
British Energy Minister Ed Davey said: ”Wind power is vital to this plan – with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”
Benj Sykes, DONG Energy Vice President,UK Wind Power, said: “The 400 sq km Hornsea-1 will be a world-first in terms of its size and location, It is scheduled to commence operation by 2020 when it will become the world’s first gigawatt-scale far from shore wind farm.
The announcement comes as onshore and offshore wind power continues to break records for generation. In addition to a new daily record of 7.3GW generated on Sunday, yesterday saw the half-hourly record for wind reach a new milestone at 9.1GW, according to official National Grid statistics.
A renewables industry observer commented: “The green light for Hornsea-1 is a much-needed boost for the offshore wind sector and represents a vote of confidence from the Government in our industry.”