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Industry heads to North East England for major offshore wind conference


Nov 12, 2021

NOF is attracting some of the biggest names in the offshore wind industry to North East England in December for a major conference that will shine a light on the major role the region is playing in the industry.

Offshore Wind North East, which takes place on 1st and 2nd December at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland, will host speakers from organisations including The Crown Estate, bp and the developers of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, SSE Renewables and Equinor, and the Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, RWE.

The event, which is organised by NOF and supported by North East England’s offshore renewables cluster, Energi Coast, will highlight opportunities for the supply chain to contribute to this vital renewables sector while showcasing the innovation from companies from the region that are highly active in the sector.

Key areas of focus at the conference will be supply chain updates on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm and Sofia Wind Farm as well a briefing on the new Teesside Freeport, which will enhance trade and investment in the Tees Valley and support the region’s position in the offshore wind industry.

Offshore Wind North East, which is expected to attract more than 800 delegates, will also feature a discussion on the future of the advanced manufacturing of turbines, which will be supported by a presentation by GE Renewable Energy and its presence in the region that includes the plans for its major turbine blade manufacturing facility that will be built on Teesside.

Delegates can also take part in sessions on decommissioning, highlighting how the supply chain can help create a circular economy in the offshore wind sector, as well as a focus on North East England’s role as a world leader in the subsea industry, which will feature cable manufacturer JDR and subsea equipment specialist SMD.

Alongside the discussions and presentations, Offshore Wind North East will host an exhibition area featuring in excess of 130 companies active in the sector that will showcase their innovative products and services, alongside dedicated networking areas for delegates and speakers.

George Rafferty, Chief Executive of NOF said: “North East England is increasingly becoming a focal point for the offshore wind industry as a result of the significant developments that are taking place off our coastline at Dogger Bank and the experienced, innovative supply chain that exists in the region, which is active in the sector, globally.

“This is generating considerable inward investment in the region from companies that want to be based here as well as from local authorities and organisations such as North East England’s five ports.  Through this activity the region has an integral role to play in the energy transition and the drive to net zero as offshore wind takes a priority position in the energy mix.

“Offshore Wind North East provides a platform for both developers and supply chain companies to highlight their role in the sector while presenting an opportunity for them to establish and develop relationships that will bring mutually beneficial outcomes for companies, the sector and our drive to a low carbon future.”

Simon Bailey, Commercial Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to support further growth in the North East offshore wind supply chain as a strategic partner in this important event. The region has become a thriving hub of skills and expertise in the sector, and we welcome the chance to contribute further to this industrial success story as the region’s businesses take advantage of new opportunities in the net zero world.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’re delighted to sponsor Offshore Wind North East again as our region works to become the UK’s premier offshore wind hub. Government’s £107million for our South Bank Quay and GE Renewable Energy’s offshore blade facility are just two projects positioning us at the forefront of the sector.”

Guy Currey, Director, Invest North East England, said: “These are exciting times for North East England.  We are at the centre of the UK’s green revolution and in pole position to take advantage opportunities in the green economy.   Our assets, growing renewables business cluster and superb talent pool have global recognition and recent investments from the likes of Equinor/SSE and JDR Cables cement the region’s reputation as the UK’s leading offshore renewables location.”