Wind farm maintenance base officially opened in Eyemouth

The new centre will bring dozens of jobs to the Scottish Borders

A maintenance base for a wind farm in the North Sea promises to deliver dozens of jobs in the Borders.

Energy secretary Michael Matheson officially opened the Eyemouth facility which is linked to the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) project off the Fife coast.

Power from its 54 turbines should reach the national grid in summer.

Mr Matheson said job creation and reduced consumer costs meant there were "lots of reasons to be happy about projects like this".

When fully operational in 2024, the wind farm will produce enough energy to power about 375,000 homes.

The Scottish government hopes that offshore wind power will continue to ease fossil fuel dependency and create new jobs.

Mr Matheson said there was a "bright future" for the energy sector.

Matthieu Hue, CEO of EDF Renewables UK; Michael Matheson MSP; Matthias Haag, NnG Project Director and John O’Connor, Generation Delivery at ESB at the new building in Eyemouth.
The site is an operations and maintenance base for the wind farm in the North Sea

"We have a massive potential pipeline of offshore wind here in Scotland, and it is essential that our supply chain benefits from the opportunities that come with this," he said.

"There will be 50 or so jobs created here at Eyemouth - as we create more energy from renewables we will create many more jobs.

"And as we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, we will also reduce the costs of our energy."

It will be around 18 months before all of the 54 turbines off the Fife coast are operational.

Matthias Haag, project director for NnG
Matthias Haag said the opening was a "big milestone" for the project

Recruitment is under way to staff the depot. Project director Matthias Haag described the opening as a "big milestone".

"Eyemouth was perfect for the operations and maintenance building as you have direct sight of the wind park, it's easy to reach from here, and we have been made very welcome since coming to the town," he said.

"The base will be here for 25 years and will create around 50 high-skill jobs.

"We are trying to employ local people where we can, and there are also many contract opportunities for local companies."

Christine Bell, from Eyemouth Harbour Trust, said she was thrilled with the investment in the town.

She said: "The harbour has been under utilised in recent years so it is great to see several million pounds of inward investment.

"So many local businesses will also benefit from the base being here, it has to be a good thing for Eyemouth."