Wind Week: Celebrating 20 years of offshore wind in the East

East Anglia has been at the forefront of the offshore wind revolution for the last two decades, with one of the UK’s first commercial offshore wind farms commissioned in 2004 located 2.5km off the coast of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. 

Since then, the region’s industry has gone from strength to strength with a predicted 13 million homes set to be powered by electricity generated by offshore wind in the East of England by 2030-35*.

To celebrate UK Wind Week 2024 – which runs until Friday, June 28 – EastWind, the eastern region’s offshore wind cluster, has undertaken a range of activities with more planned across the week, representing its network at some of the region’s biggest events.

On June 20-21, with support from colleagues at Murphy, the EastWind team attended The Sixth Form College Colchester’s employment and university fair, interacting with hundreds of students across two days of talks and exhibition to engage in conversations about future careers and pathways to working in offshore wind.

On June 22-23, the team got stuck in at Lowestoft’s First Light Festival, exhibiting with members of the EastWind network including East Coast College, Murphy, Siemens Gamesa and Sizewell C, to demonstrate the range of opportunities that offshore wind brings to local communities. 

On June 25, EastWind held its Big Celebration event at SaxonAir in Norwich, which started with roundtable sessions where network members discussed the key challenges facing the industry, relating specifically to supply chain, skills and innovation. 

The key outcomes from the session will be formulated into a comprehensive report that EastWind will publish and use as a foundation for ongoing initiatives aimed at addressing the challenges raised.

In the afternoon, more than 150 delegates across the sector gathered to hear updates from RWE, Ørsted and Equinor about their offshore wind projects in our region and opportunities for the supply chain, along with presentations from RenewableUK, The Crown Estate and the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership. 

The day was rounded off by presentations from John Best, founder of EEEGR and owner of Best Proactive, reflecting on 20 years of offshore wind success, and Corrine Barry, net zero director at RWE, who took a look forward to the next decade before live music, food and networking concluded the event.

This week also sees the biggest STEMM Village yet at the Royal Norfolk show on June 26-27. EastWind is collaborating with RWE, Equinor, Siemens, Murphy, Ørsted, Skills for Energy and East Coast College to showcase offshore wind in our region to thousands of visitors across the two-day show. 

With interactive activities, competitions and VR experiences, the STEMM Village will act as a hub for innovation and inspiration.

“This year’s UK Wind Week commitments from EastWind are a testament to the progress and level of collaboration from the network across all levels,” said Andrew Harston, EastWind chair. 

“Our three pillars – industry, collaboration and community – are the driving force behind all that we do and are central to EastWind’s mission.

“By working together to highlight the level of activity in our region, the importance of our continued success to energy and economic security, and the range of opportunities to supply chain and the future workforce, we will continue to create a sustainable sector for the benefit of the region and the UK as a whole.”

EastWind project manager, Lexi Brackpool, added: “The enthusiasm and engagement we’ve seen by engaging in these events has been incredibly encouraging and demonstrates a high level of interest from the communities in which we operate. It’s clear that offshore wind not only has a strong past in the East of England, but also a vibrant future.”

“By working together to highlight the level of activity in our region, the importance of our continued success to energy and economic security, and the range of opportunities to supply chain and the future workforce, we will continue to create a sustainable sector for the benefit of the region and the UK as a whole.”

EastWind project manager, Lexi Brackpool, added: “The enthusiasm and engagement we’ve seen by engaging in these events has been incredibly encouraging and demonstrates a high level of interest from the communities in which we operate. It’s clear that offshore wind not only has a strong past in the East of England, but also a vibrant future.”

Sourced by: edp24.co.uk

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The Team

Steve Huxter - Building and Tenant Manager

Steve has recently been appointed as Building and Tenant Manager have joined OrbisEnergy as a Property Support Administrator in July 2019.

Ian Pease

Ian Pease, Business Development Manager joined in February 2020. His role is to drive forward OrbisEnergy as an innovation and technology cluster for the region’s clean energy sector by working closely with new and existing tenants.

Lauren Knowles - Property Support Administrator

Lauren has recently joined the OrbisEnergy team. Lauren is excited and looking forward to the challenges her new post will bring.

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