Leading the way
North East England’s offshore wind cluster leads the way for supply chain collaboration and innovation
The North East of England has been instrumental in the development of the offshore wind industry since its inception and has developed a diverse cluster of innovative, technology-led suppliers that continue to be at the forefront of the industry.
The cluster is represented by Energi Coast, which champions the North East’s innovative and collaborative supply chain companies operating in the offshore wind sector.
Since creating the first offshore windfarm off the coast of Blyth in 2000, the North East supply chain has evolved through the development of innovative and efficient products and services, which have been applied to multiple UK and international offshore windfarms.
As a result, the cluster has matured to be able to deliver the majority of what is required for an offshore windfarm, both at design, construction and O&M phase. This expertise ranges from foundations, cables, installation, training and specialist subsea services. It also has extensive port facilities and enviable infrastructure attracting interest from key players around the world keen to set up business in the UK.
James Ritchie, CEO of Tekmar plc and Chair of Energi Coast, said: “Offshore wind is a central part of the world’s clean energy future due to its renewed competitiveness and scalability.
“Delivering it requires an innovative supply chain to produce effective and efficient technology and services that supports the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore windfarms, which is something the North East has done successfully.
“With the up-and-coming local projects such as Sofia and Dogger Bank we have a capable experienced and competitive local supply chain ready to raise to the challenge.”
Founded in 2011 by energy sector business development experts NOF, Energi Coast is growing in prominence following the announcement of the Offshore Wind Sector deal, which includes the commitment to develop strong regional clusters across the UK to maximise on the opportunities the industry offers.
Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of NOF and Deputy Chair of Energi Coast, said: “This region has been instrumental in the establishment of the UK offshore wind industry and has led the way as a major contributor to local content with innovative technology and services.
“As a result, NOF has been dedicated to supporting the cluster through Energi Coast by providing companies with a respected and recognised platform to showcase their expertise and experience.”