The East of England’s highly-prized position at the centre of the UK’s fast-developing offshore wind industry will be celebrated at an event in the region next week.
Leaders from some of the biggest offshore wind farm developers will reveal from the stage future plans, contracts and milestones for their multi-billion investments that are powering the regeneration of communities along the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coasts.
Focus will also fallon how the innovative industry, which has reduced its costs faster than anticipated, can work with the half-century old gas industry in the Southern North Sea by exploring synergies and sharing resources, skills and logistics.
The event, on Friday (November 10), is being organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) in partnership with RenewableUK at OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft, to mark Offshore Wind Week, which starts on Monday.
Skills providers and colleges will outline work under way to provide the highly-qualified skilled workforce to meet the offshore wind industry needs for decades to come.
Industry giants ScottishPower Renewables, Statoil, Vattenfall and innogy will talk about their projects off the East Anglia coast – the under-
construction East Anglia ONE, East Anglia THREE and its future zones, the soon-to be inaugurated Dudgeon, Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas and Galloper, which will start to produce electricity next year.
Simon Gray, EEEGR CEO, said the third annual Offshore Wind Works event – the only Offshore Wind Week event with RenewableUK in the region, would be opened by Peter Aldous, Waveney MP.
“The industry has much to celebrate this year with its magnificent achievement of such dramatic reductions in costs, which has happened far quicker than expected.
“The East of England is proud to be at the forefront of the UK moving to a low carbon economy. At the event, we will celebrate investment, innovation, job creation, business growth in the supply chain, development of our deepwater ports and how this new exciting industry is breathing new life and jobs into coastal communities.”
“We are seeing long-awaited local content here, the turbines for Galloper taking shape at Great Yarmouth port, and an increasing number of local companies engaging with developers and operators, while young people can now see the opportunities for careers that can take them around the world as we export our skills.
“At the EEEGR House of Commons Reception, it was wonderful to hear EEEGR member James Fisher Marine Services announced as winning the integrated offshore services contract for East Anglia ONE. Offshore wind has been a huge success for this company, bringing more local jobs to its new base in Lowestoft.”
Offshore wind costs had halved to less than £58 for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced – lower than the estimates given by experts – which meant developers could apply for subsidies from the £294m fund for the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, he said.
“The hard work and innovative technology from developers like ScottishPower Renewables mean the next auction will cost consumers, who support the subsidies through their energy bills, hundreds of millions of pounds less than it would have done.”
Friday’s event will run from 8.30am to 2pm and is sponsored by ScottishPower Renewables, EEEGR’s platinum sponsor, innogy, Statoil, Vattenfall, Peel Ports, A&P Group and James Fisher Marine Services.
A networking drinks reception, sponsored by innogy, will take place the evening before (November 9) at OrbisEnergy.
To book for both events, visit www.eeegr.com/events/offshore-wind-week-east-anglia-event-1721.html or contact Siofra Driver at email@example.com or 01493 412196.