The East of England has rapidly become a global leader for offshore wind. Shallow water, deep-water ports and ideal weather conditions of the Southern North Sea (SNS) offer developers the perfect environment for multi-billions of pounds worth of investment.
A robust, flexible and ambitious supply chain has grown, while skills provision by employers and colleges has created an adaptable mobile workforce that can move from project to project.
Businesses based in the East of England Energy Zone (EEEZ) are perfectly located to support the development of the offshore wind sector in the SNS. Some of the world’s biggest wind farms are being built a few miles off the Norfolk and Suffolk coastline including East Anglia ONE, East Anglia TWO, East Anglia ONE North, East Anglia THREE, Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard, while other UK Round 3 developments, Dogger and Hornsea, as well as Dutch offshore wind developments are easily accessible from EEEZ deep-water harbours.
Great Yarmouth played a pioneering role in the UK Round 1 Scroby Sands wind farm, which first supplied the national grid with electricity in 2005 and has continued to play a vital role in many Round 2 wind farms, including the construction of Sheringham Shoal and Lincs offshore wind farms.
Scroby Sands was one of the first commercial offshore wind farms to be built in the UK. Commissioned in March 2004 the 30-turbine wind farm 3km off the coast has also become a popular landmark and tourist attraction. Scroby Sands is operated and maintained by E.ON from the river port in Great Yarmouth.
The construction of both Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) Greater Gabbard and Galloper offshore wind farms was supported by the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft sub-region with both wind farms managed from dedicated operations and maintenance (O&M) facilities in Lowestoft.
Lowestoft is the chosen construction support and O&M hub for the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.
With its proven expertise, good accessibility and the right location, Great Yarmouth was chosen to host the operations and maintenance for the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm with a purpose-built base in the river port opened in 2016 which also supports Hywind. This test development in Scotland, also operated by Equinor, is the world’s first commercial wind farm using floating wind turbines, situated 29 kilometres off Peterhead.
Swedish energy giant Vattenfall and Peel Ports have agreed to reserve space at Great Yarmouth harbour for an operations base for its planned Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas projects – with a combined capacity of 3.6GW
The base will be operational for at least 25 years and be home to 150 skilled wind technicians among the largest ever built.
Ruari Lean, project manager for Norfolk Vanguard, said the major investment “will send a strong signal to other businesses to consider investing in the county.”
Numerous local and international companies based in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Norwich and the wider area are already actively engaged in the both UK and European offshore wind industries. A new up-to-date capability matrix accurately maps the breadth of services available in the East of England Energy Zone.
The EEEZ Offshore Wind brochure provides more details of the opportunities and is available to download below or contact us to find out more.