Isle of Wight wind farm developer ‘must come clean on jobs claim’

The developer of a proposed wind farm off the Dorset and Isle of Wight coasts are being urged to “come clean” about the number of jobs the project will create. […]

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The developer of a proposed wind farm off the Dorset and Isle of Wight coasts are being urged to “come clean” about the number of jobs the project will create.

It comes after Navitus Bay Development Ltd (NBDL), a joint venture between EDF Energy Renewables and Eneco Wind UK, said it will support a minimum of 1,700 local jobs.

The Poole Tourism Management Board (PTMB) and Bournemouth Tourism Management Board (BTMB) are also requesting the company to announce the preferred suppliers for the major components of the turbines and the development.

Bruce Grant-Braham, Chairman of PTMB and Des Simmons, Chairman of BTMB said: “We want to know exactly how, when and where these ‘minimum 1,700 local jobs will be created.”

They added their concern is the wind farm “does not want to be transparent with this information because the majority of contracts will, in fact, be awarded overseas and not to local or even UK-based companies”.

They went on: “We demand they come clean with this information.

“The developer has announced preferred supplier contracts for minor components of the development (blades and electrical transmission systems), neither of which will create new jobs.”

Stuart Grant, Project Director of the wind farm said: “If the project receives consent, the type of contracts likely to be awarded during the construction of the wind park include ones for ports, steel fabricators, concrete suppliers and plant hire.

“During the O&M phase, opportunities will exist for skilled technicians and vessel operators.

“This has been seen recently with the MHI Vestas Offshore Wind turbine supplier announcement, which would safeguard 200 jobs on the Isle of Wight.”

The proposed wind farm off the Dorset Coast, which will have 194 turbines and generate 970MW of power, was recently campaigned against by Bournemouth council.

The council previously sent a letter urging the government not to go ahead with the wind farm proposal and invited the Energy Secretary to see the risks of the development.