Minister officially opens offshore wind farm

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has officially opened E.ON's Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm.

The 73-turbine wind farm, which is located off the Holderness coast, went into full operation in May and will provide enough electricity for around 170,000 homes.

A £2 million Community Benefit Fund was launched in February by E.ON to help local communities close to the wind farm. 

And a three-year apprenticeship programme, which was launched in September, will provide learners with an Advanced Apprenticeship in Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance. 

"This wind farm will give the local economy a major and sustained boost and will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 170,000 homes,” said Ms Leadsom.

"Our priorities are to decarbonise our energy sector, keep bills down and the lights on and we need an energy mix that is built around diverse and home grown supplies. Offshore wind has a key role to play, which is why we're the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind projects."

Chief Operating Officer for E.ON Climate and Renewables’ Chief Operating Officer, Michael Lewis, said: "This opening marks a significant achievement for E.ON, as Humber Gateway becomes our fifth operational offshore wind farm in the UK and our eighth in total group-wide.

"Humber Gateway will play an integral role in helping the UK meet its energy needs and commitment to reducing carbon emissions. At a local level, 47 full-time roles have been created following the completion of the wind farm, which will be based at the Operations and Maintenance site, and we will continue to support local communities close to the wind farm through our Community Benefit Fund.

“We've gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience in the offshore wind sector, and we're proud to be a market leader in terms of in terms of investment and capability. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has been involved in the planning, development and construction process at Humber Gateway over the last 10 years."

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues