Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has met with SSE Renewables to discuss multi-billion pound plans to build what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the world off the Holderness Coast.
This is the latest in a series of engagements that Graham has had with renewable firms over the years in order to ensure that residents and local businesses see the benefits of the growth of green energy without being inconvenienced by the construction.
Graham has previously met with Danish offshore wind firm, Ørsted, about their projects off the coast of Hornsea. In 2014, he launched the ‘Ban the Din from Dong’ campaign to tackle the blight of loud noises emanating from Dong Energy’s Westernmost Rough windfarm development off Withernsea.
The new wind farm will be built over 130km from the coast in the ‘Dogger Bank’ area of the North Sea, where the water is much shallower. This is a remnant of the end of the last Ice Age when landmass connecting the North East of the UK to continental Europe was submerged by rising sea levels.
Underwater electricity cables will run from the offshore site before coming just north of Skipsea. Further onshore cables will then be fed underground for 30km until they meet the substation at Creyke Beck in Cottingham.
Eventually, the wind farm will have a capacity of nearly 4 gigawatts and be able to power 4.5 million homes in the UK. Construction began on the project on 17th January, with UK-based construction firm Jones Bros putting the first spade in the ground near the coastal village of Ulrome.
Speaking after the meeting, Graham said: “I wanted to meet with SSE Renewables first and foremost to make sure that any disruption to my constituents in Beverley and Holderness is absolutely minimised, so I was reassured that they have already been working closely with East Riding Council to ensure this is the case.
“I was also assured that their team would always be available to meet with should any resident raise concerns with me about the effect that construction will have on them.
“The UK has been at the forefront of renewable technology thanks to significant investment and support to lower costs and thanks to this, our renewable capacity has quadrupled in the past decade. It’s important we now build on this to deliver greener energy at lower costs and I’ve championed projects like these so that our area is at the forefront of the green revolution.
“It brings in investment and supports skilled, well-paid jobs for the local community.”
Construction of the Creyke Beck projects – the section of the wind farm that will run its cables through Beverley and Holderness – is expected to complete in 2023, with construction taking place between Ulrome and Routh from May.
The wind farm will also have a community benefit fund that will be launched later this year as well as ‘Meet the Buyer’ days in March that will highlight potential opportunities for local suppliers.
Graham was keen to look into how the community benefit fund could best improve local communities: “I’m currently looking to make significant progress in my CADEY campaign to ensure that every community in Beverley and Holderness has a lifesaving defibrillator readily available.
“When the campaign started in Spring 2018, we had around 60 communities without a publicly accessible defibrillator – which is now down to about 36 with three or four more in the pipeline.
“It’d be great if we could use Dogger Bank’s fund to help get the number of communities left down to zero as these machines are quite literally lifesavers.”
Pavel Miller, Head of Policy & External Relations at SSE Renewables, added: “It was great to meet with Graham, who was keen to learn more about the project and any impact on residents.
“Projects like these need the support of local people and we’ll be working with the council and local MPs as the project develops.”
Since the Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal was launched in March 2019, the industry is set to provide 30 gigawatts of energy by 2030, support 27,000 jobs, and generate £2.6bn a year in exports as well as £40bn investment in UK infrastructure.