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Government backs £8bn windfarm

The UK government has given the green light for an £8bn offshore windfarm in the North Sea.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd today gave planning permission for two 1.2GW projects at the Dogger Bank Teeside site off the coast of Redcar.

The new project will be equal in size to the world’s largest consented windfarm and consist of two developments, containing 200 turbines each, at a cost of £3bn-4bn.

It is expected to provide as much energy as all of the UK’s current offshore windfarms combined and create 4,750 jobs across its lifetime.

The project will now be subject to a financial investment decision, but the government consent comes with the condition that work must start at the site by 2022.

The decision marks the end of nearly four years of planning and development work by Forewind, the consortium of energy companies that consists of WE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil.

Forewind general manager Tarald Gjerde said: “Today’s approval paves the way for the phased delivery of wind projects across Dogger Bank.

“It represents a real opportunity for the UK to receive even more of its energy from its abundant wind resource while creating significant economic benefits, particularly for the north eastern regions.

“The local regions are well positioned to take advantage of the many supply chain and employment opportunities, due to both their geographical proximity to the development as well as their industrial and marine heritage.”

Energy and climate change minister Lord Bourne said: “Thanks to government support, the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy.

“As we build the Northern powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project.”