OWGP awards £2.4m to eleven UK businesses and launches next funding round

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has released its latest Development Grant funding call, with £2 million available for UK businesses looking to accelerate their growth in the offshore wind supply chain.

Funding is available for projects that target at least one of the high-value focus areas identified in the recent Supply Chain Capability Analysis report, commissioned by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and OWGP.

Proposals should align with one of the nine supply chain categories that represent high value opportunities for the UK, including cables, substations and electrical design, steel fabrication, floating wind, development services, offshore services, vessels, blades and rotor assembly and Wind Turbine Generator components.

OWGP also revealed the 11 companies that have secured a share of the £2.4 million funding pot released in May 2023. EchoBolt, Insensys, Unmanned Survey Solutions, Encomara, Quoceant, Technip FMC, Plaswire, CRC Evans, London Marine Consultants, SeaRoc and Windscope have all been awarded OWGP Development Grant Funding to support offshore wind supply chain projects totalling £5m.

The successful projects have a key focus on improving capability, increasing competitiveness, and driving forward business growth within the offshore wind sector.

For more information and to apply for funding, visit

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Orsted to proceed with mega Hornsea 3 North Sea wind farm project

Ørsted said this week that it had made a final investment decision on the Hornsea 3 project off Britain’s coast, indicating it will proceed with what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

The project, which will have capacity to power more than 3.3 million UK homes and is expected to cost 70-75 billion Danish crowns ($10.3-$11.0 billion), is targeted for completion by the end of 2027.

The 2.9-gigawatt project is seen as vital for Britain’s push to boost energy security and its renewable power output to meet climate targets. Orsted said Hornsea 3, which is part of a wider array at the Hornsea site off the Yorkshire coast, has a value creation “around the bottom end” of its targeted return on projects. Bernstein analysts projected the internal rate of return at 7-7.5%.

Development of the Hornsea 3 project had been in doubt due to rising upfront costs, as the industry grapples with supply chain delays and higher costs.

Most of the capital expenditure for the project was contracted ahead of recent inflationary pressures, securing competitive prices, Orsted said.

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RWE acquires UK Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone portfolio from Vattenfall

RWE, one of the world’s leading offshore wind companies, will acquire the UK Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone portfolio from Vattenfall. The portfolio comprises three offshore wind development projects off the east coast of England – Norfolk Vanguard West, Norfolk Vanguard East and Norfolk Boreas.

The three projects, each with a planned capacity of 1.4 gigawatts (GW), are located 50 to 80 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk in East Anglia. This area is one of the world’s largest and most attractive areas for offshore wind.

The agreed purchase price to acquire the Vattenfall portfolio is based on an enterprise value of £963 million.

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Innovation needed to meet UK renewable targets

Energy market analytics company Aurora says that Britain is not on track to meet the government’s renewables targets without innovation.

Aurora’s report echoes recent analysis from the Climate Change Committee, whose chair Lord Deben said that “the government is failing in much of its implementation” of its targets. The Public Accounts Committee also recently said it is “sceptical” over whether expansion plans for nuclear, solar and wind are credible.

Aurora warned that installed offshore wind will only reach “a little over two thirds of the government’s target by 2030, while installed solar capacity will remain below half of the national target by 2035.”

The UK government has set itself highly challenging electricity generating capacity ambitions for nuclear (24GW by 2050), solar (70GW by 2035) and offshore wind power (50GW by 2030).

Figures published by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) show that the UK currently has just over 15GW of solar, 15GW of onshore wind, 14GW of offshore wind, and smaller amounts of hydro and landfill gas.

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Japanese pledge to plow billions into UK offshore wind sector

Japanese companies have committed to invest more than $22bn in the UK, including funding for offshore wind, low-carbon hydrogen and other clean energy projects.

Trading house Marubeni Corporation had announced its intention to sign an agreement with the UK government which envisaged close to $12.5bn of investment in Britain with partners over the next 10 years. This includes offshore wind in Scotland and green hydrogen projects in Wales and Scotland.

Marubeni’s counterpart Sumitomo Electric intends to expand its UK offshore wind projects, leading to a total investment of about $5bn in projects off the coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk alongside its partners. Meanwhile, Sumitomo Electric Power Cable & Energy Solution Industries plans to build a high voltage cable manufacturing plant in the Scottish Highlands, bringing more than $250m in investment, that should bolster UK’s offshore wind supply chains.

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Amazon funds the world’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm located between offshore wind turbines

Amazon has announced it is funding the world’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm located between offshore wind turbines. The project known as North Sea Farm 1 will be located in a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. It has been designed to test and improve methods of seaweed farming while researching seaweed’s potential to sequester carbon – this being the process of capturing, removing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the earth’s atmosphere.

By locating the farm in previously empty space between turbines, the project is able to expand seaweed cultivation in the otherwise heavily used North Sea. If seaweed farming were to expand to occupy the entire space occupied by wind farms, expected to be approximately 1 million hectares by 2040, it could reduce millions of tonnes of CO2 annually.

The project is managed by a consortium of scientific researchers and partners from the seaweed industry, led by non-profit organisation North Sea Farmers (NSF), and is expected to become operational by the end of this year. The consortium hopes that North Sea Farm 1 will evolve into a blueprint for offshore seaweed farming the world over.

Amazon is granting €1.5 million to create this first-of-its-kind seaweed farm and carry out a year’s scientific research into carbon reduction through seaweed farming. The funding comes from its $100 million global Right Now Climate Fund.

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UK Consortium Launches SOV Design Concept

The Diamond Consortium of James Fisher and Sons plc and the UK shipowner, Graig Shipping PLC, has unveiled what is described as ”a pioneering service operation vessel (SOV) design concept.”

The ULSTEIN TWIN X-STERN, named ULSTEIN SX221 Diamond SOV, is expected to support the UK’s target of 50 GW of offshore wind energy generation by 2030, as part of its Net Zero Strategy.

The concept is said to be the result of extensive collaboration by the Diamond Consortium, with support from DNV – Maritime and design partner, Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V.

The result is expected to provide a future-proof design to address the increased demand for SOVs, reduce the levelised cost of energy, and deliver high levels of operability, personnel comfort, and sustainability.

The Diamond Consortium is currently in discussion with major shipyard groups to reach specifications in conjunction with valued customers, with the first vessel capable of being completed by the end of 2024.

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Aberdeen Subsea 7 bags contract worth up to £600m for work on a major Scottish offshore wind farm

Subsea 7 has announced that Seaway 7 ASA(1) has been selected by Seagreen 1 Limited as a preferred supplier for the Seagreen 1A offshore wind project, offshore Scotland.

Seagreen 1A lies adjacent to the existing Seagreen project that Seaway 7 is currently progressing and represents approximately 500MW of additional renewable energy generation capacity.

Seaway 7’s scope of work is under final negotiation and may include the full engineering, fabrication, transport and installation of 36 foundations, transportation and installation of the offshore substation and the procurement and installation of inner-array cables. Execution of the scope will be led from Seaway 7’s Aberdeen office.

The project is expected to commence in 2023 with offshore work commencing in late 2024 and could be operational by 2025/26.

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UK Squanders Major Economic Benefit from Offshore Wind

China’s Dajin Heavy Industry Corporation has signed a binding contract for the construction and delivery of XXL monopiles for the 860MW Moray West offshore wind farm in the UK.

According to Dajin, the XXL Monopiles will be “one of the largest to be installed so far in the world and first in the wind industry history to be supplied from Chinese Tier 1 supplier – Dajin Heavy Industry.” The monopiles will weigh almost 2000 tonnes and have 10 meters diameter.

OW Ocean Winds, a 50-50 joint venture between EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, with a presence in eight countries, is the major shareholder developing the Moray West project.

Dajin Heavy Industry describes itself as the largest offshore foundation fabricator in the world with one million tonnes per year production capacity in China and expanding with local content contribution investments into Europe.

Dajin’s base scope of work for the project is the supply of 48 monopiles based on the steel secured from Chinese Steel Mills. The steel cutting for the first monopile production has already started.

According to the company, Dajin Heavy Industry has acquired and is now developing a new 100h fabrication yard in the South of China and is planning a foundation facility in Europe. 

The award is the second major scope of manufacturing work for Moray West that has been sent outside of the UK in recent months.

In March, Ocean Winds signed a capacity agreement with UAE-based Lamprell worth in excess of £150m, covering the supply of 62 transition pieces, including 60 wind turbine jackets and kit for the scheme’s two offshore substations.

Commenting on the Dajin award, GMB Scotland senior organiser Gary Cook said: “New contracts, same old story. Scotland continues to fight for scraps from its own offshore wind market while the rest of the world carves up the spoils.

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World’s First Offshore Vessel Charging Points to Be Installed on UK Wind Farms This Summer

The world’s first offshore charging points for electric vessels will be installed on the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms off the UK around late summer, according to the Department for Transport (DfT), United Kingdom.

The project to develop an offshore wind on-turbine electrical vessel charging system is led by MJR Power & Automation and also includes Offshore Renewable Energy CatapultXceCo LtdArtemis Technologies Ltd, and Tidal Transit Limited.

The partners secured the UK government funding for the project back in September 2021 as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the UK Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

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