GE Renewable Energy said Wednesday it would open a new blade manufacturing facility in Teesside in the North East of England.
GE's subsidiary LM Wind Power plans to set up and operate this plant which will be dedicated to the production of its 107-meter- long offshore wind turbine blades, a key component of GE’s Haliade-X, currently the most powerful offshore wind turbine in operation.
"Terms of the construction and financing of the new plant are in advanced stages of negotiation between the interested parties," GE said.
GE Renewable Energy estimates that this new plant, set to open and start production in 2023, could create up to 750 direct renewable energy jobs and up to 1,500 indirect jobs in the area to support the entire value chain needed to operate this facility.
This announcement and commitment support the UK government’s plan to develop jobs, infrastructure, and supply chains to reach its goal to commission 40 GW of offshore wind power by 2030, GE added.
As part of that plan, Teesside has just been designated as one of the UK’s newest freeports.
"GE Renewable Energy’s new blade manufacturing plant will be located on Teesworks, an ideal location to serve the vast offshore wind potential of the North Sea," GE added.
Jerôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said “This new plant will contribute to the development of an industrial cluster dedicated to offshore wind in the North East of England. We are delighted to announce such a commitment for the renewable energy industry, we believe it will help develop a strong talent pool through the hiring and more importantly training of future colleagues. The UK’s target to commission 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is ambitious and requires that we invest in local production capabilities to accompany this effort.”
Commenting on the investments it made for the new port of Teesside, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “Teesside will continue to drive forward our green industrial revolution as we capitalise on new opportunities to produce clean energy through a brand new offshore wind port on the River Tees. It will not only create thousands of jobs and harness the skills and expertise of this great industrial heartland, but also boost investment into the area as we build back greener.”
Hugh McNeal, CEO of Renewable UK said “GE Renewable Energy’s new blade turbine manufacturing plant will transform a former steelworks site on Teesside into a high-tech clean energy powerhouse, creating thousands of highly-skilled jobs in our UK supply chain. This announcement marks the start of the next generation of offshore wind manufacturing.”
According to GE, the giant Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, to be between 125 km and 290 km off the east coast of Yorkshire, would benefit directly from the blades produced at this new plant.
The three phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, powered by GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, will have a combined installed generation capacity of 3.6 GW, enough to power six million UK homes. When complete in 2026, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said: "We’re incredibly proud to say Dogger Bank Wind Farm is the anchor project for the blade facility announcement by GE today. Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a world-leading development pushing the boundaries of offshore wind development and playing a key role in delivering the ambition to increase UK supply chain capacity and capability.
"Through our turbine supply order with GE, the Dogger Bank project is the catalyst for this important GE investment in Teesside, harnessing skills and expertise in the local area and delivering long-term benefits in the UK’s offshore wind sector.”