Norfolk and Suffolk have been dubbed the UK’s ‘green energy epicentre’, following the launch of a new offshore wind cluster.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Offshore Wind Cluster brings together ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall together with the area’s ports, local authorities, business groups and educational institutions.
It’s hoped the cluster will help to create thousands of new jobs and unlock investment for the local area, with the East of England’s renewable energy, gas and nuclear sector predicted to be worth £60bn by 2040.
Nearly 4GW of offshore wind power is now operational off the region’s coast, accounting for 52% of the UK’s current 7.5GW installed capacity.
Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: ‘Norfolk and Suffolk’s wind cluster is becoming the centre of gravity for the UK’s market with more capacity than any other UK region.
‘A recent deal has been signed with ScottishPower Renewables which will mean that our area will have one of the biggest offshore wind farms in the UK (East Anglia ONE).’
‘We’re launching Norfolk and Suffolk’s offshore wind prospectus today which sets out our ambitions, vision and how the cluster will be developed. This opportunity could also create more than 6,000 well-paid skilled jobs by 2032 which is a key aim for our region.’
Simon Gray, CEO of the East of England Energy Group, added: ‘We’re are delighted to be working with New Anglia LEP on the offshore wind cluster. This important development now means that our region is at the very epicentre of the energy production for the country.
‘This call will bring huge opportunities for skills development and new jobs for our region.’
In related news, Warrington Borough Council will become the first local authority to produce all its own electricity from green energy, following a landmark funding deal that will see them own two solar farms.
Following the deal with Investec Bank and Leapfrog Finance, the council expects the two sites, a 34.7MWp hybrid solar farm in York and a 25.7MWp solar farm in Hull, will generate ‘millions of pounds’ in profits every year for 30 years.