The North East of England has the potential to power more than 3.4 million UK homes when all of the offshore wind farms in the region are developed and deployed to full capacity.
In addition, the region’s supply chain, which employs several thousand people, is also actively involved in the development of offshore wind farms in other regions of the UK as well as around the world in markets including Taiwan, China, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and the United States.
Already home to the UK’s first operational offshore wind farm, Blyth Offshore Wind Farm and more recently the Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstrator, the region will also host the four wind farms at Dogger Bank off the North East coast generating up to 1.2GW of power when operational.
In addition, North East companies are well-positioned to be able to meet the Operation and Maintenance requirements of neighbouring upcoming developments including Triton Knoll, off the Lincolnshire coast, Scotland’s Moray Offshore Wind Farm and Hornsea Project Two, off the Yorkshire coast, which all received Contracts for Difference in September.
The North East of England’s contribution to the Offshore Wind industry and the UK’s energy requirements is being celebrated during Offshore Wind Week (6-10 November), a national initiative involving RenewableUK and various industry partners.
Centred around a major conference and exhibition in County Durham on Thursday 9 November, organised by NOF Energy in conjunction with Energi Coast, the event will highlight the key role the region’s companies are continuing to play in this rapidly developing sector.
NOF Energy,working with Invest North East England and Tees Valley Combined Authority, has also organised a series of site visits for a group ofsenior executives from the industry during the week to showcase the capabilities and expertise of key North East supply chain companies. Some of the host companies include Wilton Engineering, OSB, JDR, Heerema, MPI Offshore, PD Ports, Falck Safety Services, Smulders Projects UK, Port of Blyth, Energy Central and ORE Catapult.
Offshore Wind North East 2017 Conference and Exhibition at Hardwick Hall, will offer delegates the chance to hear from some of industry’s key players and network with fellow offshore wind supply chain companies.
Conference attendees will hear presentations from developers including Orsted, EDF Energy Renewables, Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm as well as contractors and suppliers involved in offshore wind. A series of panel discussions, featuring well-known companies operating in the sector such as JDR, Tekmar, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Royal IHC, SMD, Maersk Training, OSBIT and Houlder will discuss a range of topics including innovation, technology and diversification.
Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of NOF Energy and Deputy Chair of Energi Coast, said: “Offshore Wind Week is a great opportunity to highlight the significant contribution made by the regional supply chain to the industry. The North East is at the leading edge of innovation around offshore wind and has a growing supply chain base with a great future outlook to export their expertise globally.
“Many countries are now working up plans to introduce offshore wind into their energy mix, members of NOF Energy are already supplying into projects overseas, but are also providing technical know-how into how different nations can progress quickly with developing their own offshore wind industries.
“The cultural and strategic shift from oil & gas into offshore wind in the past decade has paid dividends for North East companies with transferable technology-led solutions, skills and experience that has been applied to the growing renewables market. We are no longer waiting for offshore wind to arrive, it is well and truly here with the potential of creating a large number of jobs in the region and bringing new business opportunities to our shores.”