A deal has been secured to develop an offshore wind energy site off the Blyth coast.
EDF Energy Renewables has acquired the rights to develop the Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Project.
The company has secured both the seabed rights from The Crown Estate and associated land rights and meteorological data from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.
The site, the largest consented offshore wind testing facility in the UK, can accommodate up to 15 turbines and provides a testing area to install and trial new technology in realistic conditions before commercial operation.
EDF Energy Renewables chief executive Christian Egal said: “We’re delighted to be getting access to a UK site which, subject to a final investment decision by our Investment Committee, could give us the opportunity to further enhance our expertise in building offshore wind farms and to test new technologies.
“As a company, we already have a large presence in the north east. So we’re really pleased to be able to add another potential project to our portfolio in a region which is becoming a real power house for the UK energy industry.”
Huub Den Rooijen, head of offshore wind at The Crown Estate, said: “Blyth offers an unparalleled opportunity to test new technologies capable of driving down the cost of offshore wind development and unlocking new areas of resource off our coast.”
Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell said: “This is the beginning of something big for the offshore wind turbine project in Blyth and could fetch hundreds of jobs for the people of Blyth Valley.
“It may take time but it is a welcome start.”
Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, said: “ORE Catapult and EDF will collaborate closely on research and development to accelerate the development of innovative technologies for the offshore wind industry, driving down the cost of energy from offshore wind and benefitting the whole offshore renewables industry.”