More than 20 community representatives from Redcar and Cleveland were updated on the progress of the Dogger Bank Teesside offshore wind development by wind farm consortium, Forewind last week in Eston, Middlesbrough.
Dogger Bank Teesside will comprise up to four wind farms, each with a maximum installed capacity of 1.2GW. They are expected to connect to the national grid in Teesside, just south of the Tees Estuary and the cables are anticipated to come to shore between Marske and Redcar.
At the update meeting, the representatives comprising town, ward and parish councilors, as well as neighbourhood officers and managers, heard how the project has developed since the phase one consultation was held earlier this year.
The briefing included information about the proposed onshore infrastructure and construction activity which would be required to connect the offshore wind farms to National Grid substations, via an onshore landfall, onshore underground cables and with up to four new converter stations.
Stakeholder Manager Nikki Smith said that a significant amount of site selection work and stakeholder engagement has been carried out to finalise the two preferred converter station sites. Also Forewind has now identified two preferred landfall sites from within the landfall area.
“Both the converter station sites, which could each house up to two converter stations, lie within the area of process industries complex, the Wilton International Site near Redcar,” Miss Smith said. “The landfall sites have been chosen following a selection process which looked at both offshore constraints such as gas pipelines, and onshore constraints such as existing buildings as well as planned developments.”
The meeting attendees asked questions and gave feedback about the process to date, however a significant amount of interest focused on the opportunities for local jobs and the potential for existing businesses to get involved.
“It is difficult to give exact details about the types and numbers of jobs and materials requirements,” Miss Smith said. “However the Teesside area, with its history of manufacturing and available workforce, should be well placed to take advantage of the potentially thousands of construction jobs and supply chain opportunities, and possibly some longer term operation and maintenance related work.”
Forewind has also just launched its Champions for Wind programme in Teesside whereby 10 teachers from Hartlepool, Redcar and Middlesbrough will receive bursaries enabling them to produce tailored curriculum materials aimed at raising students awareness of the full range of potential careers in, or related to offshore wind energy.
“We were grateful to all the meeting attendees for their time and input into the meeting and will now incorporate comments and feedback into our proposals as we approach the second phase of consultation, which will be later in 2013.”
Press release, November 4, 2012; Image: Forewind