Norfolk & Suffolk’s unlimited offshore wind sector is looking to export its supply chain expertise to the largest wind farm planned in the US.
A preliminary online event organised by Norfolk & Suffolk Unlimited and the City of Virginia Beach saw 20 local businesses meet with operators and developers involved in Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) scheme, for which construction and commissioning will get underway in 2024.
OrbisEnergy, East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and Opergy gave presentations during the webinar, positioning Norfolk and Suffolk as the UK’s clean energy region and highlighting the experience and strength of its supply chain.
CVOW will be the first offshore wind project in Federal waters and the first to be owned directly by a US utility company, delivering more than 2.6 GW of renewable energy by 2026.
This year Danish company Ørsted is already building a two-turbine pilot project, a forerunner to the full-scale one.
The online session was also joined by developer, Avangrid Renewables, which presented its plans for the 2.5 GW Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Farm, located 30 miles from CVOW off the coast of North Carolina.
East Anglia’s offshore energy industry employs more than 800 businesses and 11,800 employees. There is expected to be £60bn of capital investment in its energy projects by 2040 and £1.3bn of offshore wind operations and maintenance opportunities by 2025.
Norfolk & Suffolk Unlimited is a brand designed to globally market the area as the UK’s home of clean energy and promote its world-leading clusters in ICT, tech and digital and agri-food. It is being delivered by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, in conjunction with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, and has the endorsement of the Department for International Trade.
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “East Anglia is already building strategic links with key European and global offshore wind markets and local business have been involved in almost every wind farm project around the world.
“Our energy sector has been through tough times, but the east coast remains a global hub for skills and innovation. We remain in a great place to make the most of future opportunities and relationships like this are key to that.”
Virginia Beach’s Director of Economic Development, Taylor Adams, said: “We’re delighted that companies from Norfolk and Suffolk can help us get our new offshore wind industry going. They have a huge amount of expertise and we are doing everything we can to give them a warm welcome over here.
“I’d like to thank Norfolk & Suffolk Unlimited for all their assistance and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Mr Adams added: “It’s great this is happening around the VE Day anniversary – another reminder of what our two countries can do together.”
Ian Pease, Business Development Manager – All Energy at OrbisEnergy, said: “Our original plan was to showcase Norfolk and Suffolk’s offshore wind supply chain during a visit to the UK by our Virginia Beach colleagues. But rather than postpone, we decided to take the event online and were able to introduce 20 businesses from the region to some of the key players from the emerging US offshore wind market.
“The format exceeded all expectations and our next steps are to facilitate a series of online ‘meet the buyer’ sessions to support Norfolk and Suffolk energy businesses in exporting their expertise to a global offshore wind market.”
Supply chain companies wanting to find out more about the potential opportunities should contact Ian Pease at firstname.lastname@example.org