Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why the Wind Is in the North's Favour; the Government Has Given the Go-Ahead to Develop Windfarms off the UK Coast. ADAM JUPP Reports on the Significance of the Plans to the Region:

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why the Wind Is in the North's Favour; the Government Has Given the Go-Ahead to Develop Windfarms off the UK Coast. ADAM JUPP Reports on the Significance of the Plans to the Region:

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM JUPP

TO put it bluntly, this is the biggest announcement that the offshore wind industry will ever see."

That is the view of Andrew Mill, chief executive of Blyth-based firm Narec, who added: "And our region is one of the best placed in the UK, if not in Europe, to benefit from it."

The Government yesterday gave a series of companies the green light to develop offshore wind farms off the UK coast.

The announcement was the third round of the process of leasing our waters for use in the renewable energy sector and includes one site, Dogger Bank, off Teesside. The masterplan is to see around a quarter of our power generated from green sources and create 70,000 jobs in the process. And it is hoped a large chunk of those roles will be based here.

Narec has worked as an adviser to national policy makers on the technology involved in siting giant turbines off our coastline, as well as being a development partner to global manufacturing giants Clipper Windpower and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, who have designed machines specifically for the round three market.

It also recently secured public investment of pounds 15m to build a 100m turbine blade testing facility in the region.

In a boost to our Great North Revolution campaign, Mr Mill says this is one reason why the region can be at the centre of the renewable energy sector. He added: "We have got everything here, from Blyth in Northumberland, through to the Tees, Wear and Tyne rivers, all of which have something different to offer.

"There's the Tees with its deep water and large fabrication facilities, and the Wear, where there is already five to six years' worth of cable work, with hopefully more to come, then there is the Tyne, which we hope will be the place where turbines will be built.

"Already, there are two to three international companies looking at this region to site their manufacturing bases. Everything is in place to make sure this region can benefit from this announcement."

The latest round of the licensing process marks a major expansion of offshore wind from the 8GW already installed or planned around UK waters. …

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