Wind farm future remains bright

Neil Kenley.
Neil Kenley.
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A REGENERATION expert today told of the “fantastic opportunity” for wind farm development in the Tees Valley.

Firms which are known as “big operators” are showing interest in coming to the area including one which would be looking to produce 200 turbines a year, said Neil Kenley, director of business investment at Tees Valley Unlimited.

He could not be drawn at this stage on the areas of the Tees Valley, which could be the lure for such a big company.

But his news of major interest in the area came in reaction to the recommendations in a report from an advisory group to the Government, which said the rate of offshore wind energy development in the UK should be slowed.

Mr Kenley said: “This could be seen as sending a wobbly message to some companies, but we are engaged with some leading players who could be supplying a European market from a Teesside base.

“The chance to attract offshore wind turbine manufacturers and developers to the area is still an opportunity for us.”

Under current offshore wind plans, the Government would expect to see 13 gigawatts of turbines installed in the seas around the UK by 2020, or more than 3,600 turbines.

Mr Kenley said one company alone was hoping to bring in a facility to the Tees Valley, which would produce sufficient turbines to create one gigawatt.

“Even if the Government was to pull back, the opportunity is there for us to tap into the market and there is still a massive market there,” he added.