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Jobs Needed On Sussex Offshore Wind Farm

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

GMB Call For Jobs Guarantees On £1.3 Billion Offshore Sussex Wind Farm Announced To Start Early Next Year

If Rampion is a rerun of the Thames Array wind farm the danger is that the only thing communities paying for this project will get is higher energy bills says GMB.

GMB, the union for energy workers, commented on the announcement of a start date early next year for the £1.3 billion 400-megawatt Rampion wind farm eight miles off the Sussex coast consisting of 116 turbines. See notes to editors for copy of story on Press Association.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy, said “Unless Government insists on guarantees on local components sourcing and local jobs in return for higher bills that this energy will cost consumers I think we can safely say the turbines will be built in Germany and Denmark, brought over on Dutch barges, and in turn be connected by cables made in China.

We need guarantees on how many jobs this investment funded by consumers will create in the UK and locally in Sussex.

If Rampion is a rerun of Thames Array the danger that the only things communities paying for this project are higher energy bills.

Rampion must not be a rerun of Thames Array, one of the world’s largest wind farms. There the turbines and much of the Infrastructure was manufactured aboard and boats used to float the turbines into position were from the continent with a workforce also mainly from the continent.

If Government and the energy industry are serious about developing green jobs in the UK they will not allow this to happen again.

The money to fund green energy comes from the bills of UK consumers who have no choice in the matter. They have every right to expect that the government that decreed that they should pay for green energy has an industrial strategy in place to promote decent jobs for a new generation now facing prospects of precarious employment.

Government leaving the supply chain to corporations which decide to spend the money importing much of the technology from overseas is completely out of order and not acceptable.”

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Contact: Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary on 07710 618909 or Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary for the South coast on 07801 343839 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to editors

Story on PA on 18 May 2015:

Start date for £1.3bn wind farm   By Tom Pugh, Press Association

Offshore construction of a £1.3 billion wind farm which could produce enough electricity for around 300,000 homes will begin early next year, it has been announced.

The 400-megawatt Rampion wind farm eight miles off the Sussex coast will consist of 116 turbines and could cut CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.

Up to 450 jobs could be created during the main building phase of the Rampion project, the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said: "This huge investment is a vote of confidence in the UK, creating local jobs, bringing business opportunities and providing clean, home-grown energy."

Energy firm E.ON said onshore construction of the substation at Twineham, near Haywards Heath, will start next month, followed by preparations for the onshore cable route.

In a statement announcing its plans, the company said offshore construction will start early next year, with planned completion expected in 2018.

E.ON UK chief executive Tony Cocker said: "This is an important milestone for what is a strategically-important project for the UK."

Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of E.ON's project partner, the UK Green Investment Bank, said: "Our investment gives the developer the confidence to begin construction on this important wind project, boosting UK energy supply and generating enough power annually for around 300,000 homes."

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