The second largest offshore wind farm in the world, costing £1.3bn and generating enough clean electricity to power more than half a million homes, has been opened by construction minister Michael Fallon.
Greater Gabbard, located off the coast of Suffolk, has 140 turbines and will double in size once the Galloper wind farm extension is completed in 2017.
Offshore wind has the potential to provide enough clean power for 11m homes in the UK by the end of this decade, creating 30,000 jobs and contributing £7bn to the economy, according to the government.
Mr Fallon said: “The UK leads the world in offshore wind power generation with more capacity than the rest of the world combined, and we want to see this sector grow even further.
“Greater Gabbard has already brought jobs and wider benefit to the local community, with hundreds of people employed on site, and a £150,000 fund created to support local initiatives, which will be managed by Suffolk Community Foundation.
“It has also benefited local business. Today, I visited Seajacks, a British company based in Great Yarmouth, who are building the world’s largest and most advanced offshore wind farm installation vessel to transport turbines out to this great wind farm.
“This sector is an engine of our economy. By the end of this decade, tens of thousands of additional jobs could be created in the supply chain for offshore wind throughout the UK.”