Richard, as you were the only local blogger to accurately report the suspension of the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm construction in October (natch), I thought you might be interested to know that it is now back online. The Swedish energy company Vattenfall, owners of the Kentish Flats Wind Farm off Whitstable have bought the project off CRC the previous owners for a reported £35m.
The employment opportunities for locals will be fairly restricted during the construction stage, as the wind farm construction industry is very specialised, however I can foresee employment opportunities on the marine side, operating the support craft. The Port of Ramsgate will of course benefit by being the base for the support of the marine operations, and where a new berth will be built. There is also an 'Operations and Maintenance' building, to be constructed within the Port of Ramsgate, which it is envisaged that local builders will be given an opportunity to tender for. Further opportunities for local employment will be available for the 'Operation and Maintenance' stage of the project, which has a projected lifespan of 40 years.
It is hoped that the offshore construction will commence in February 2009, and the completion date is now late 2010.
And with my plan to turn West Cliff Hall (the Motor Museum in old money) into an exciting environmental adventure centre, the future of Ramsgate as 'the windy city' seems assured. Hurrah!