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Image?Humber wind farm plan breezes along


ENERGY giant E.on’s proposal for a huge offshore wind farm at the entrance to the Humber is progressing, a year after the local authority gave their blessing for it.

An 85m high meteorological mast is currently being installed several kilometers off Spurn Point, while on land, the search continues for a sub-station location to link the Humber Gateway project to the National Grid.

The scheme, which could feature up to 83 turbines, puts the twin port of Grimsby and Immingham in pole position to welcome construction, service and maintenance business for the farm, as the nearest deep-water and fast-access port.

E.on would produce up to 300mw of energy from the farm – enough to power nearly 200,000 homes.

Vaughan Weighill, Humber Gateway development manager, explained the need for the mast.

He said: "Our initial assessments of the site have shown this is an ideal location for a wind farm.

"The offshore mast will collect valuable wind speed data that will help to confirm this, as well as measuring wave heights and sea currents, which will feed into the engineering design."

The £700-million plan was given the thumbs up by North East Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee last July, as they recommended the Environment Secretary moved to approve it.

But an ongoing search for a suitable site for the necessary infrastructure on the north bank means the go-ahead cannot be received until that is decided.

A spokesperson for E.on said: "As yet, we haven’t got a specific destination on-shore for the sub-station. We are looking at various sites across the region and, at some point in the next few weeks, we will submit a planning application."

The offshore application is with central Government and the onshore underground cabling will be with East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

In Grimsby, the economic development team at North East Lincolnshire Council is encouraging businesses with an interest in the offshore wind turbine market to register their details with VEN Management, a business matchmaking subsidiary of Yorkshire Forward. The regional development agency is creating a supplier database that will then be made available to developers and manufacturers.

Sam Pick, VEN’s opportunity specialist, said: "With significant growth expected in green technology in our region, this is an excellent opportunity for local firms to tool up and supply the industry going forward.

"There has already been a great deal of interest expressed by businesses along the south Humber bank. VEN is confident this will be a growth area for local business and look forward to helping companies to win new contracts."

Source: This Is Grimsby

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