UK windfarms to spur green job growth
The firms behind the world's biggest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank have outlined plans to create 200 new jobs at the Port of Tyne, while Scottish Power plans to use its wind farms as part of an energy cluster scheme that will support 600 jobs in Scotland.
Equinor and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the world’s biggest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank, have confirmed plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base at the Port of Tyne.
The operations base will enable Equinor workers to run the wind farm, creating more than 200 jobs in the region. Recruitment activity will begin in early 2022, with the first phase of the wind farm due to start producing renewable electricity the following year.
Construction began on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in January this year and the operations base will oversee the running of the windfarm for more than 25 years.
Dogger Bank consists of three 1.2GW phases, located more than 130km from the North East coast of England.
When fully operational, the windfarm will provide enough clean electricity to power more than 4.5 million UK homes and its expected to trigger capital investments of around £9bn over a six-year period.
Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharma commented: “This new facility is fantastic news for Tyneside and the North East of England. Renewable energy is one of the UK’s great success stories, providing over a third of our electricity and thousands of jobs.
“Projects like Dogger Bank will be a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
In related news, Scottish Power has unveiled plans to boost Scotland’s oldest commercial windfarm in a bid to assist with a clean energy cluster being deployed in central Scotland.
The energy cluster will cost around £150m and will support 100,000 homes with renewable electricity. The wind farm cluster could create up to 600 jobs, but some will be temporary. Around 280 long-term jobs have been earmarked through the project.
The job growth delivered by these projects will be a welcome, albeit not immediate respite to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also a timely boost to the UK’s green jobs sector, which has seen employee numbers fall by a third in recent years.
Offshore wind remains one of the UK’s most attractive markets. The cost of offshore wind has halved over the last two years to set a record low-strike price of £57.50 per MWh.