Tyneside-based OGN North Sea said it was to create up to 1,000 energy jobs thanks to a £640,000 grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to build foundations for offshore wind farms.
The cash comes from a £5m fund set up by the Government to help firms with novel ideas to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.
The foundation structures have been developed by the firm’s sister company Aquind Limited and will be designed for large wind turbine generators in waters more than 30 metres (100ft) deep.
“It is a real project creating real jobs, which will mean work for the north banks of the Tyne.
“There are a whole series of green energy projects in the North-East which are a great new part of the North-East’s employment mix.”
Simon Bowens, of Friends of the Earth, said: “This is a great boost for Tyneside and highlights the huge benefits of developing energy careers and a low-carbon economy in the North-East.
“Combining the massive potential of clean British energy with the region’s engineering skills and expertise is exactly what’s needed to build our future prosperity. “ OGN, which already employs about 1,000 workers in Wallsend, Tyneside, and Lowestoft, Suffolk, said Government support was vital to the project. Its chief executive David Edwards said: “The offshore wind energy market is crucial to Britain’s future energy needs and we will do our utmost to ensure that this grant takes the UK into an even stronger role as the lead player in this sector.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “The coalition Government is determined to drive ambitious green growth and we are putting our money where our mouth is.
“Making wind turbines more efficient is common sense and will help bring down the costs, making them more attractive to build and helping us increase the amount of electricity we get from clean, green sources.
“It’s great to see OGN North Sea Ltd stepping up to the challenge to ensure offshore wind energy is produced in the most cost-effective way.”
This week Aberdeen-based Technip Offshore Wind said it would create 60 jobs by opening an office in the region in anticipation of an expected boom in wind farm projects off the North-East coast.