The East Sleekburn enterprise zone in Blyth is continuing at pace as a premier UK location for sustainable energy.
Blyth has bolstered its growing reputation as a leading player in sustainable energy with the news that the North Sea Link interconnector has secured a site with Arch in East Sleekburn.
The North Sea Link interconnector will connect the UK and Norway’s electricity systems via subsea cables, allowing the two countries to trade power.
A joint venture between National Grid and Statnett, North Sea Link interconnector will be the world’s longest subsea interconnector.
Providing energy security to the UK by establishing a long-term link to Norway’s supply of hydro-generated electricity, the 720km cable buried beneath the North Sea will connect Nordic and British markets.
An interconnector allows countries to trade power, helping to ensure safe, secure and affordable energy supplies. Passing through Norwegian and British waters, North Sea Link Interconnector aims to be operational in 2021 and, when constructed, will be the longest subsea interconnector in the world.
The new investment will house a convertor station that supports the interconnector which provides critical energy security to the UK. Arch is leading on the delivery of the East Sleekburn site, which is part of the North East Enterprise Zone, providing a premier east coast location for companies operating within offshore energy including offshore wind, subsea and the oil and gas industries. The East Sleekburn Enterprise Zone offers fast-tracked planning and investment incentives to accelerate activity which complements and enhances the Port of Blyth’s existing facilities.
It is expected that at least 450 jobs will be created on the site.
Energy Central is already recognised as a hub for national and regional electrical distribution; National Grid, Northern Powergrid and EDF Energy all have active operations at the site. The investment from the North Sea Link Interconnector is a major addition to this cluster and recognition of the site’s capabilities.
The site is spread over 36 hectares, of which circa 20 hectares are identified for significant economic growth and future jobs. This catalyst site, within the wider Energy Central area, comprises the former Blyth Power Station and the former Ash Barge Dock which has remained derelict since the power station was demolished with the last chimneys coming down in 2003.