A NORTH-EAST offshore wind farm, capable of powering about 40,000 homes, has started producing electricity.

The Teesside wind farm, off the coast of Redcar, is now supplying power to the National Grid after the first three turbines were switched on.

The wind farm, being built by energy supplier EDF Energy Renewables, will feature 27 wind turbines when completed, with each structure capable of generating up to 2.3 megawatts of power.

Bosses have revealed 18 turbines are now fully installed, with contractors using the MPI Adventure vessel that is operating from the Port of Hartlepool.

Electricity from the turbines is sent through cables buried on the seabed to a substation at Warrenby, near Redcar, where it enters the grid through a connection at Lackenby, also near Redcar.

Christian Egal, EDF Energy Renewables chief executive, said: “This is an important milestone for us and one that that will help us to maintain our commitment to deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure.

“As work progresses, further turbines will be brought on stream over the next few weeks and in doing so will enable the Teesside project to make a significant contribution to meeting these objectives.”

Earlier this month, specialist underwater engineering firm, Marske Site Services, of Stokesley, North Yorkshire, carried out work to fit large nets filled with loose stone placed around the base of each turbine to offset sediment removal caused by wave and tide movements.