OrbisEnergy Hub in Suffolk Puts Wind Beneath the Wings of Renewables Sector

A scenic place to do business – a meeting looking out to sea at OrbisEnergy’s hub in Lowestoft (pic credit CHPV).

A major supplier to the offshore wind industry has set up shop in a successful renewable energy hub which is generating expertise and support for the growing sector in the East of England.

Manor Renewable Energy (MRE) is the latest tenant at OrbisEnergy at Lowestoft in Suffolk, which, as an industry incubator, is home to 62 business tenants who also draw on the centre’s office support, advice and networking services.

MRE, who are based in Dorset and Hampshire, have taken workspace at OrbisEnergy as a headquarters for its operations at the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm where it is providing temporary power for the turbine commissioning phase of the project.

Project manager Michael James said: “OrbisEnergy is the ideal location for us – a hub where we can work with other renewable energy companies, backed up with friendly and professional office support.”

Their arrival comes at a time of positive news for the sector, with innovation driving down offshore wind energy costs by half and UK content almost reaching the 50pc target set for 2020 – showing the industry is maturing and in good health.

OrbisEnergy’s key role as a hub at the heart of the expanding regional sector is underlined as two other tenants also expand their floorspace to match their workload.

  • Consultancy 4C Offshore has doubled its office space and workforce since launching there in 2009, providing market intelligence to developers and supply chain as well as a growing workload as owner engineers for subsea cable projects.Chief executive Chris Anderson said: “We began with nine staff, currently have 23 and we are presently recruiting for both the market intelligence team and the owner-engineers specialist group. Being based at OrbisEnergy, which sits at the centre of the UK’s offshore wind industry, offers us flexibility to adjust our office space quickly to match demand. It has really helped us grow, effectively outsourcing the property management as we focus on improving the business.”
  •  DELPRO Wind, the joint venture company of Global Wind Service and DELPRO A/S, has doubled its floor space to accommodate a four-strong team providing electrical equipment and expertise to nine wind farm projects ranging from the nearby Galloper to sites in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. UK Area Manager Jason Royal-Smith said: “OrbisEnergy has been the perfect location – close to our clients and with the flexibility to expand our space as business grows.”

OrbisEnergy, which opened in 2008, is owned by Suffolk County Council, has partnerships with Waveney District C

Orbis centre twighlight shot

ouncil and consultants

Nautilus Associates, and is managed by enterprise agency Nwes.  It is close to a range of developing offshore wind farms, with construction and maintenance bases in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

Tenants with offices in the striking building, with its landmark wind turbine, range from major wind farm developers such as SSE and ScottishPower Renewables, to jack-up, logistics, recruitment and other support companies.

In the past four months, its new tenants have included SSI Energy, Green Energy Projects, James Fisher Marine Services, Northern Offshore Services, Lovewell Blake Energy Group, Seazip with Eagle-I Drones set to join soon.

They all use the building’s shared reception and support services, meeting rooms, networking and access to advice and grant funding, through programmes such as SCORE.

OrbisEnergy’s Business Development lead Jonathan Reynolds said: “OrbisEnergy’s continued success and growth is a barometer of the expanding renewable energy in this region which is showing fantastic progress.

“Our hub and range of support services are playing a key role in helping both the sector overall and individual companies grow to meet their potential.”

Relationship Manager Katie Snell added: “A hallmark of OrbisEnergy’s success as an incubation hub is the growth of James Fisher Marine, which eventually outgrew its space at the centre and moved to larger premises – but has remained as a virtual tenant because of the value they attach to being associated with us.”

Find out more out OrbisEnergy, the office space and services it can offer at www.orbisenergy.co.uk, email orbisenergy@nwes.org.uk or call the team on 01502 563368


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The Team

Katie Snell

Having worked within the property department for 9 years, I have had the pleasure of working within the majority of the Nwes sites in the Norfolk and Waveney area. For the last 2.5 years I have been based at OrbisEnergy and more recently as Senior Coordinator overlooking the renewable hub and team.

Devon Mills

Devon has joined the team at OrbisEnergy as an Administration Coordinator in November 2014 and more recently a Centre Coordinator in January 2016. Having previously worked within various customer service roles she is pleased to be able to apply her skills and knowledge to her position at OrbisEnergy.

She is keen to build a strong understanding within the Offshore Renewable industry, whilst being able to develop a good mind for business and sales.

Johnathan Reynolds

Johnathan is responsible for all aspects of business and supply chain development for the flagship innovation and incubation centre for offshore renewables in the east of England, OrbisEnergy.

Matthew Holden

Matt’s role is Technical Support Manager, his main duty is leading the European Clusters for Offshore Wind Servicing Project (ECOWindS, www.ecowinds.eu) on behalf of Nwes. In addition to ECOWindS Matt’s role is provide support for the property team and to carry out specific project work.

John Balch

John is Managing Director of Nautilus, Director of Nwes and Hub Director of OrbisEnergy and Beacon Innovation Centre. He is a mechanical engineer and has broad experience gained over 40 years in the international offshore industry.

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