Energy giant EDF Renewables has officially opened its Port of Blyth supported Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm, with leaders at the business heralding the project as the start of an exciting new phase for the company.
Matthieu Hue, chief executive of EDF Renewables, was among business leaders and politicians at the official unveiling of the wind farm in Blyth which started generating power late last year.
Mr Hue said: “For us this is a very important project. EDF is committed to renewables and we’ve made it core to our strategy, developing, building and operate renewable projects all over the world – onshore and offshore.
“And what’s very important for us to be able to do at the Blyth project, with all its demonstration features, is validate the capabilities ahead of deploying much larger projects.”
Having supported EDF and its project partners throughout the construction phase, the Port is also now home to a long term Operations & Maintenance base for the wind farm, housing technicians from both EDF and MHI Vestas who will oversee the efficient operation of the five 8.3MW turbines. In creating the base, EDF has taken a 20 year lease on a new facility at the Port’s South Harbour terminal.
Port of Blyth Chief Executive, Martin Lawlor, said: “Supporting both the construction of the wind farm and the provision of a long term O&M base for EDF Renewables and their partners has, given the profile of the development, highlighted the Port’s capabilities to the whole wind sector. We’re delighted that the project was completed on time and that the world-first new technologies now on show just off Blyth are operating successfully and we look forward to supporting the wind farm over the coming years”.
Ronnie Campbell, MP for Blyth Valley, said at the launch that Blyth and the North East as a whole is perfectly placed to lead the future of offshore energy.
“We’ve got something to prove here and EDF has been marvellous. The harbour has really taken off and we can certainly be a world leader – we have proved that today.”
The 41.5MW farm is now powering up to 34,000 homes. More information on the wind farm is available here.