Two North East ports have won contracts to help build and maintain the world's largest wind farm in the North Sea, creating 240 jobs.
The contract, for Dogger Bank A and B includes an order of 190 Haliade-X 13MW offshore wind turbines, the largest single order ever made.
The turbines will be split evenly with 95 based at each site for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. It will be the first time that a 13MW Haliade-X has been installed anywhere in the world.
The project is located over 130km off the North-East coast and will be capable of powering up to 4.5 million UK homes each year when complete in 2026.
One spin of the Haliade-X 13MW can generate enough electricity to power a UK household for more than two days.
The Port of Tyne will provide operations and maintenance for the turbines, while Hartlepool's Able UK yard will deliver equipment and installation services.
As part of the agreement GE Renewable Energy will establish its marshalling harbour activities at Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool which will serve as the base for turbine service equipment, installation and commissioning activities for Dogger Bank A and B.
This will see the delivery of component parts for each of GE’s Haliade-X 13MW wind turbines to the specialist port, including the nacelle, three tower sections and three 107m long blades, for pre-assembly on-site at Able Seaton prior to transport out to the North Sea for installation.
This activity will lead to the creation of 120 skilled jobs at the port during construction.
Today’s contract announcement also includes a five-year Service and Warranty agreement supporting operational jobs in the maintenance of the wind farm.
This agreement for Dogger Bank phases A and B will account for around 120 out of the total 200 long term jobs (previously announced) that will be based out of the Port of Tyne where the wind farm’s new Operations and Maintenance base will be located.
GE’s Service team will be co-located with the Dogger Bank Operational and Maintenance team at Port of Tyne.
Recruitment for the posts which are described as 'green jobs' will begin early next year, with turbine installation due to begin in 2023.
This brings the total number of jobs in the North East associated with the development and operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm to 320 so far.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables, who are leading the construction of the wind farm, and Equinor, who will operate the 3.6GW project during its lifetime of at least 25-years.
Due to its size and scale, the wind farm is being built in three phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. Each project is expected to generate around 6TWh of electricity each year.
Steve Wilson, Dogger Bank Wind Farm’s Project Director at SSE Renewables, said: “Signing the contract with GE Renewable Energy is not just great news for Dogger Bank and GE, but for the wider offshore wind industry, marking the first time a 13MW turbine will be installed in the world.
“These turbines are a true testament of how hard the offshore wind industry is working to continually innovate and drive down costs and we look forward to working with GE Renewable Energy to help us deliver the largest offshore wind farm in the world.”
Peter Stephenson, ABLE UK’s Executive Chairman, commented: “We are delighted that 120 skilled jobs will be based here at the Port, in this exciting and growing industry. The offshore wind sector will increase four-fold by 2030 through the Sector Deal, and with the increasingly demanding targets for low carbon power generation, there is an unparalleled level of market visibility.
''Combine this with the sectors’ extraordinary efforts in terms of developing new products and significantly reducing costs, this industry is set to become a dominant factor in a post Covid 19 UK economy.”