Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg officially opens new Centrica wind farm off Skegness coast

The wind turbines off the Skegness coastline at dawn. Photo by Philip Murray.
The wind turbines off the Skegness coastline at dawn. Photo by Philip Murray.

Centrica Energy’s Lincs offshore wind farm was officially opened today (Thursday) by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

The last of the wind farm’s 75 wind turbines was connected to the National Grid on Wednesday, July 24y, bringing the 270MW project up to full strength for the first time.

Centrica says that the Lincs farm is now capable of producing enough energy for over 200,000 homes – equivalent to around two thirds of the homes in Lincolnshire.

Speaking at Centrica Energy’s operations and maintenance base in Grimsby, where the official opening ceremony took place, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m absolutely delighted to open the Lincs wind farm – a major contribution to ensuring the UK can continue to build on our competitive edge in renewable energy, as well as the UK economy and with the potential to power thousands of homes with clean energy and boost the local economy by bringing jobs to the region.

“The race is now on to lead the world in clean, green energy and Yorkshire and the Humber has a clear natural advantage with enviable wind resources and a world-beating research base – I am absolutely committed that we strengthen our position which is why our offshore wind industrial strategy aims to grow UK supply chain manufacturing so that more of the work and jobs can be done here.”

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, was also present at the event.

Construction of the wind farm started in 2010 with first power achieved in August 2012 and the last of the Siemens 3.6MW turbines lifted into place on Sunday, March 31 this year. Over 350 people have been involved in its construction.

Centrica Energy’s Managing Director Mark Hanafin said: “Today is a very important day for Centrica and for our joint venture partners, marking the culmination of ten years’ hard work, determination, and perseverance by the men and women who’ve made Lincs happen.

“The support we’ve had from the people of Grimsby has been phenomenal.

“My hope is that the offshore wind industry will continue to bring important jobs to this important town, and that projects like this will give confidence to companies that there is a thriving renewables industry in the UK in which to invest.”

The Lincs wind farm is located five miles off the coast of Skegness and has been built out of Esbjerg in Denmark with commissioning managed from the Centrica base in Grimsby and Sutton Bridge near King’s Lynn.

The base includes the Siemens service team and will function as a shared resource for the Lincs, Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms. Siemens also provides grid connections to the Lincs wind farm.

Combined, the three wind farms are capable of producing enough power for over 330,000 homes.

Lincs is a joint venture between leading UK energy company Centrica Energy, offshore wind market leader DONG Energy and Siemens Project Ventures.