We have been following the USA’s involvement in the wind energy industry with interest over the last few years with a view to focusing attention on their growing supply chain and how we can help communication throughout all tiers from owners and operators down to suppliers of nuts and bolts
We learned that Virginia Beach on the east coast is very much at the forefront of that push particularly in offshore wind. Charles MacDowell who is based in the UK introduced us to Taylor Adams who is the Director of Economic Development and Deputy City Manager representing The City of Virginia Beach, USA. We recently spoke to Taylor about the USA’s progress and how he sees things moving forward.
Dominion Energy Project
Taylor has been leading a team for the past two and a half years concentrating on offshore wind energy and specifically two projects: The Dominion Energy Project (Dominion Energy is the second largest energy utility in the US), announced that they were going to build two test wind turbines offshore then followed that up almost immediately with a project to construct a windfarm (2500MW), both off the coast of Virginia Beach.
They also stated that they would purchase 100% of the energy produced which Taylor is convinced that in ten years’ time will be looked upon as the ‘tipping point’ for offshore wind progressing in the US.
Also planned is a project off the coast of Kitty Hawk which will be managed by Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of Iberdrola who own Scottish Power – this windfarm will also be serviced from Virginia Beach.
Taylor emphasised that the announcements of both projects (each 2500MW windfarms) have given the US a sense of urgency in progressing the offshore wind industry. Added to that the changes made in US legislation to fully support clean energy aims only serves to accelerate the industry even more quickly in future.
Following this substantial Focus on the USA feature, we plan to concentrate on specific areas of the US and their supply chain in future editions, commencing with Virginia Beach.
Q&A Getting Personal with…
Who are you? Taylor Adams, Director of Economic Development and Deputy City Manager
Which organisation are you representing? The City of Virginia Beach, USA
Describe what the organisation does: We promote the economic growth of our city by supporting businesses – whether incoming, existing or start-ups.
What brought you into your position? It has been fun to use the skills I acquired while owning a small business and also working as a banker and in the marketing department at Harrods. Economic development plays a vital role in a community. Economic developers are called upon to use various tools and skillsets to stimulate economic growth.
What are the organisation’s goals? Creating employment opportunities for the city through business attraction and retention
What are you most proud of about your organisation? Being part of a business success story and something that has a lasting impact on my community, is hugely rewarding.
What is it about your city that distinguishes you from your competition? As well as being perfect for the new US offshore wind industry, it is somewhere you can work during the day and vacation at night. At the centre of the US East Coast, it’s an ideal gateway into the USA.
Greatest achievement in your career? Leading a great team who have brought $460m investment and over 2,500 jobs to our city in just two and a half years.
Legislation you would like to see introduced? Technology is changing the world very fast, so anything that helps create the workforce of the future.
Prominent person you would like to meet? Gordon Ramsey, if dinner is included!
What excites you about the wind industry? Creating the power that the world needs without damaging the planet.
Where would you like to be 10 years from now? Still doing the work that I am doing now, bringing prosperity to communities.
Best advice you have ever been given? From my dad: “There’s nothing that can’t be accomplished with hard work and common sense.”
How do you unwind? A great meal with my wife, the odd round of golf or a quality malt whisky: Oban in the summer, Lagavulin in the winter.
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? My favourite novel: ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ by John Kennedy Toole, David Bowie’s Greatest Hits – and my wife, of course!