Equinor and SSE Renewables have chosen the Port of Tyne in north east England as the site for the operations and maintenance (O&M) hub serving the 3600MW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm.
Equinor is constructing the facility. The joint venture partner will operate the wind farm for its expected lifetime of more than 25 years and will base its O&M teams at the centre.
The multi-million pound site will includes both office space and a warehouse.
Dogger bank is being built in three 1.2GW phases, with the first expected to starting producing electricity in 2023.
The project is expected to generate over 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain.
Dogger Bank will require a total capital investment of approximately £9bn between 2020 and 2026.
Construction of the wind farm, led by SSE Renewables, began in January 2020.
Secretary of State for Business Alok Sharma said: “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.”
Equinor North Sea new energy solutions senior vice president Stephen Bull said: “The UK government has legislated to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
“Major scale renewable energy projects like Dogger Bank ensures Britain’s leadership as the #1 offshore wind nation. Moreover, the project brings new investment to the UK, at a challenging time for us all, and secures over 200 jobs in the region as well as new opportunities in a future-fit growth sector.
“The North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities.
“We are extremely proud that our skilled teams will operate the world’s largest offshore wind farm from here and look forward to becoming part of the community, and strengthening our low-carbon commitment to the North East.”
SSE Renewables director of capital projects Paul Cooley said: “The announcement today cements SSE Renewables’ and Equinor’s commitment to developing long term jobs and economic benefit in the UK and we are very pleased to welcome the Port of Tyne to the project.
“The O&M base will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the local area during construction and throughout the projects lifetime, as we have seen on our previous offshore wind projects including Beatrice.
“Dogger Bank will help drive the transition to a net zero future and we are continuing our work to construct the largest offshore wind farm in the world safely.”
The Port of Tyne recently launched its ‘Tyne 2050’ plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030.
Offshore wind is a “key component” of the strategy.
The main recruitment activity for the O&M facility will begin in early 2022 and ramp up as the project nears operation, with the first phase due to begin producing electricity in 2023.
RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said: “This is a great example of how our member companies in the offshore wind sector are investing billions of pounds in developing vital new energy infrastructure all around the UK.
“Offshore wind is creating new opportunities and employment in port towns and coastal communities throughout the country.
“As we look to the future, renewables offer us a way to rebuild our economy after the coronavirus pandemic, not just by developing projects here but by exporting our valuable expertise around the world. We can consolidate our global lead in offshore wind and in developing innovative technologies like floating wind, marine power and renewable hydrogen, as well as restarting the development of new onshore wind projects.”