Boost for wind farm plans

HARTLEPOOL’S growing wind industry reputation has been given another boost.

The town has officially been chosen as the main construction base for the Teesside Offshore Windfarm Project.

Over the next seven months, the Port of Hartlepool will be the focal point for all materials and components to be installed in the new wind farm being developed by EDF Energy Renewables off the coast of Redcar.

More than 100 people will operate out of the project’s supply base, as reported in the Hartlepool Mail last month.

Paul Barker, PD Ports’ development director, bulks and ports, said he was “delighted” at the scheme which would see 27 wind turbines installed on the windfarm, producing enough green energy to power 40,000 homes.

He said it was the first evidence of the success of a project called Chain Reaction – which is a cluster of organisations in the renewable energy sector such as JDR Cables, Tata and Heerema.

Chain Reaction has worked hard to advocate the Tees Valley as the best place to invest.

Mr Barker said the wind farm was “the first physical output of the Chain Reaction initiative and an excellent result for the region”.

Hartlepool was chosen as the hub for the Redcar project because of its port’s deep water and dedicated assembly areas with direct access to the North Sea.

Marine contractor Van Oord UK will supply and install the turbine foundations and sub-sea cables and will manage the installation operations for the turbines.

Bosses say Van Oord’s decision to operate out of Hartlepool is a boost for the bid to make Hartlepool a centre of excellence for the European wind energy market.

Tim Bland, EDF Energy Renewables’ project manager for Teesside Offshore Windfarm, said the supply base set up at Hartlepool was “central to our construction programme”.