Renewables boost for the region
- AuthorDavid Rayner
With work beginning this week on the new Galloper offshore wind farm, the region is showing it can be at the forefront of renewables technology, says David Rayner, Partner and Head of the Environment and Energy Group at Birkett Long.
Galloper had been delayed whilst the company behind it, RWE Innogy UK, secured new funding. This is now in place and the 56-turbine project will go ahead off the Suffolk coast and next to the existing Greater Gabbard wind farm. It is anticipated that the project will create 700 jobs during construction, and 100 permanent jobs for maintenance once operational. Once up-and-running, Galloper should produce enough electricity for 336,000 homes with completion expected in the summer of 2018.
Andrea Leadsom, government energy minister said ‘this is fantastic news for the region and the whole of the UK, reflecting the fact that we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind ’.
Renewable energy is one of the leading sectors identified within the South East Local Enterprise Partnership ( SELEP) area, for the future economy of the region , and both SELEP and the constituent local authorities within it are working hard to develop economic plans that play to the strengths of those sectors. As a main board member of SELEP , David is well aware of the plans to make this region’s economy the strongest in England and the part that renewables will be expected to play in that .
The news about Galloper follows hard on the heels of the announcements about Chinese investment in the nuclear programme and a new nuclear power station at Bradwell. All of these announcements are great news for the region and its economy – and will help to ensure that the lights are kept on – but, as ever, the Birkett long Environment and Energy team push for an holistic approach to the energy needs of the country to be taken to include both nuclear and renewables - and that they should include all potential renewable sources of energy, the most enlightened of which is wave action.