UK support scheme funds next-gen wind turbine manufacturing

north sea energy island
Denmark's North Sea energy island will produce 3 GW of energy, with a long-term expansion goal of 10 GW, using 200 offshore wind turbines. (Courtesy: Orsted)

Offshore wind cabling manufacturer JDR Cable Systems has announced that it will receive funding from the UK government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme.

Together with private investment from the company, a total of £130 million ($178 million) will be invested in facilities that will develop and build components for next-generation wind turbines.

The funds will be used to build a new factory in Cambois, near Blyth, and protect jobs at its existing facility in Hartlepool, with more than 440 jobs being created and safeguarded.

Of those jobs, 270 will be protected at JDR Cable Systems’ existing factory in Hartlepool, with a further 170 created as the company builds a new production facility in Cambois.

This brings the total investment of government and private sector investment to £675 million ($923 million) this year, according to Ofgem, which is creating and protecting almost 3,600 jobs across the Humber and North-East whilst building the UK’s offshore wind capacity.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK’s offshore wind sector is a major industrial success story, but we need to ensure local workers and manufacturers fully reap the economic benefits of this booming industry.

This major investment is a perfect example of how our transition to a low carbon economy can attract new industries, create jobs, reduce our reliance on unreliable fossil fuels and generate export opportunities as we build back greener from the pandemic.”

Thanks to the investment, JDR Cable Systems’ new Blyth facility will supply its Hartlepool site with cable cores and high voltage underwater cabling, ultimately boosting the UK’s competitiveness with foreign manufacturers.

Tomasz Nowak, CEO at JDR, said: “As the energy transition gathers pace and the UK’s offshore wind sector continues to thrive, turbines are growing taller and farther from shore, calling for higher voltage subsea cables.

“We’re also delighted to continue our investment in the North East of England, and in bringing new jobs to Cambois, Blyth and Northumberland. Our proposed facility is strategically located to capitalize on the rapidly growing and largest offshore renewable energy market in Europe.”

Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: “Our world-leading offshore wind sector is delivering clean energy for millions and opening huge opportunities for green growth, driving investment and creating thousands of high-quality jobs all over the UK.”

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