Offshore wind port plan expansion gets go-ahead

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 25 Mar 2016

LONG term plans for the expanding future of wind giant Dong Energy in Grimsby are progressing.

The company was yesterday granted planning permission to temporarily extend the £3.7 million Westermost Rough base on the town's Royal Dock, a critical piece in an emerging development jigsaw there.

It will cater for Race Bank wind farm's initial operations and maintenance needs, while grander plans are worked up for another permanent base in the port, with an eye on further projects, as reported on www.humberbusiness.com

The 580MW wind farm, the largest to be built out of the Humber yet, is about to enter construction, with a likely handover to the team that will run the 91 turbines in 2018.

UK chairman Brent Cheshire told how Race Bank would be built and operated out of the town last summer, as the company's first wind farm off the region's coast – Westermost Rough – was inaugurated.

Councillor Ray Oxby, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "This is great news. We have a very strong working partnership with Dong Energy and this cements it further. It is really reassuring to see we are getting to a critical mass where Grimsby is a mainstay in the operations."It can only be good news for the future, especially with the Hornsea programme coming forward."This demonstrates the real potential to grow even further the renewable sector, with jobs across the supply chain."

Race Bank's construction management team is based on Port of Grimsby East, and currently ramping up for the first physical installations. Cabling is the first stage, with 70km to lay to the two substation sites at the farm, 17 miles off the Lincolnshire coast at Chapel St Leonards.

In documents submitted to North East Lincolnshire Council planners, the building proposal – approved under delegated powers – is for the two-storey expansion to be used for a maximum of 10 years, while a separate base is then built, capable of supporting both Race Bank, and potentially, another project.

In the submitted statements, commercial building design consultant Archial Norr said it was part of a plan with the potential to form an operations and maintenance hub for all the wind farms.

As extensively reported, Dong Energy has also committed to build Hornsea Project One, and has bought the development rights to the three further phases of what will be the world's largest offshore wind project.

The company also holds a 25 per cent stake in Lincs, which operator Centrica is looking to sell, having divested Lynn and Inner Dowsing in a £423 million deal earlier this year.

Built by Hull's Hobson and Porter, the Westermost Rough building was named best commercial building at the Local Authority Building Control South Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2015, and subsequently went through to the national finals.

Further details about the stage the development proposal is at are anticipated next week.

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