THE offshore wind farm industry has secured a multi-million pound cash injection in a bid to ensure a third of British electricity is generated through renewable energy.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is planning to invest £250m into the industry over the next ten years, the government announced today.

Offshore wind currently provides around seven per cent of British power, but that could increase to more than 30 per cent by the end of the next decade, providing 27,000 jobs in the sector.

And the news has been welcomed by some of the region’s companies that at the forefront of the industry.

JDR Cable Systems, which has bases in Hartlepool and Newcastle, designs and manufactures the cables that connect offshore windfarms to the mainland.

The company employs 500 people with 50 per cent of the workforce working in offshore wind. In addition, the company runs an annual apprenticeship scheme.

They will be designing and manufacturing array cables as well as handling cable management at each turbine at the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, and providing services for array cables at the Beatrice Offshore Wind farm in the Moray Firth.

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The technology produced by JDR Cables

James Young, the chief technology officer for the company, said the announcement would help secure development and training in the booming industry.

“We think this is fantastic news for Hartlepool in particular, we also have a base in Newcastle, so this is great news for the region.

“This announcement is about the longer term future. It will mean investment in skills and training which will bring jobs to the area.

“The cost of off shore wind has come down significantly in the last few years and this announcement means that we will be able to invest in future projects with more certainty, especially with the government backing, and help bring the cost down even further.”

DeepOcean, which has a base in Darlington, is another company set to benefit from the investment.

The has been active in offshore wind since 2008, providing installation and protection of subsea power cables, seabed survey, site investigation, subsea inspection, maintenance and repair services. They employ more than 280 individuals in the UK, the majority of whom work on offshore wind projects.

They recently secured contracts to transport and install part of the array cables for Ørsted’s - formerly known as DONG Energy – Hornsea Project One Offshore Wind Farm in 2016, and in 2017.

And have also won contracts to transport and install export cables for the East Anglia ONE Wind Farm and in the German sector of the North Sea cable transportation, installation and trenching for the Merkur Offshore Wind Farm.

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A DeepOcean plough

The investment aims to boost global exports to areas like Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States five-fold to £2.6 billion per year by 2030.

Making the announcement, Claire Perry, Energy & Clean Growth Minister said: “This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.

“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a five-fold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”

Alongside the deal, the Government will provide more than £4 million for British businesses to share expertise globally and open new markets through a programme to help countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan avoid coal power and develop their own offshore wind projects.

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Offshore windfarm investment

Benj Sykes, the co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, added: “Now that we’ve sealed this transformative deal with our partners in government, as a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, offshore wind is set to take its place at the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system of the future.

“This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country which have never seen opportunities like this for years, especially coastal communities from Wick in the northern Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber.

“Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom.

“The Sector Deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not not only on here, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30bn a year by 2030.”