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Minister opens major wind farm

The second largest offshore wind farm in the world officially opened last week off the coast of Suffolk.

Energy and business minister Michael Fallon opened the 140 turbine, £1.3bn Greater Gabbard wind farm, which is expected to generate electricity to power over 500,000 homes.

The wind farm is due to double in size on completion of the Galloper wind farm extension. This is due to open in 2017.

The government expects offshore wind to potentially generate power for 11M homes in the UK by the end of this decade, along with 30,000 jobs and a predicted £7bn to the economy.

“The UK leads the world in offshore wind power generation with more capacity than the rest of the world combined,” said Fallon.

“We want to see this sector grow even further,” he said.

Greater Gabbard’s opening came a week after the government published its Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy.

Its intention is to stimulate the offshore wind sector with help from government investment.

This includes £20M from the Regional Growth Fund to improve the UK wind industry’s supply chain.

A further £46M is set aside to generate innovation between industry, government and academia and help companies to bring new products to market.

“This sector is an engine of our economy,” added Fallon. “By the end of this decade, tens of thousands of additional jobs could be created in the supply chain for offshore wind throughout the UK.”

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