Plans that would link one of the world’s largest offshore energy projects to the North East coast will be outlined next week. The Berwick Bank wind farm project, which is being developed in the North Sea with the aim of powering thousands of homes, is being proposed by energy giant SSE Renewables.
If approved, the project would include a 110-mile cable from the wind farm to Cambois, in Northumberland, an area that is already a significant player in the renewable energy sector. The scheme could create thousands of jobs in the North East and elsewhere, with the power link strengthening the region’s reputation as a leading zone for green energy.
The plans for the scheme will be made public at a consultation event at East Bedlington Community Centre next Thursday, which runs from 1 pm to 7 pm. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions from the public.
Gary Donlin, head of offshore stakeholder engagement at SSE Renewables, said: “We are still very much in the development and pre-planning phase, but if approved, this could become a trailblazing offshore site at the forefront of delivering the country’s net zero agenda.
“South East Northumberland has seen a remarkable transformation in terms of the industry over the last decade-plus and is a now key location for renewable energy. Therefore, we’re very keen for everyone living locally who can attend the consultation event to do so.”
The Berwick Bank scheme is likely to see more than 300 turbines built in an area around 25 miles off the East Lothian coast. Planning applications for the scheme have been submitted in Scotland, but an application for the Northumberland part of the scheme is not likely to be made until later this year.
If the project goes ahead, it will add to a number of renewable energy schemes around the Cambois area, including other North Sea wind farms and an interconnector cable that brings renewable energy from Norway to the UK.
The availability of renewable energy was one of the main factors – as well as good transport links – in the decision by Britishvolt to plan a gigafactory making batteries for electric vehicles at Cambois. Though the plans foundered when Britishvolt went into administration, Australian/American firm Recharge Industries is confident of reviving the scheme.
A large area around Cambois that was once the site of the old Blyth Power Station is now being marketed as Energy Central, with the aim of creating thousands of jobs in the booming renewable energy industry.