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5 Reasons Why South Humber is the UK’s No.1 Offshore Renewable Energy Hub

2:10 pm, Friday, 1st February 2019 - 5 years ago

South Humber is emerging as the UK’s leading offshore renewable energy hub. But what explains the area’s central role in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy?

1. The Best Place in the World…

With high wind speeds and shallow waters, the North Sea is, quite simply, the best place in the world to build offshore wind farms. And South Humber, centrally located on the east coast, is ideal for servicing the North Sea’s wind farm zones.

For companies in the wind energy sector, that central location provides an additional advantage – easier access to offshore renewables ports and zones all around the UK.

2. The World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farms

The North Sea’s ideal location means one thing – big offshore wind developments. Round 2 wind farms including Westermost Rough and Race Bank are already operated from the Port of Grimsby. But they’re just the start; the Round 3 Hornsea project will be on a different scale altogether.

Hornsea 1 comprising of 174 wind turbines was commissioned in 2019 and Hornsea 2 is scheduled for completion 2022-3023. Hornsea 2 will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. And each of those will be dwarfed by the proposed Hornsea 3!

3. All the Services an Offshore Wind Farm Could Need

It’s good news, therefore, that South Humber can offer all the services a large-scale offshore wind farms need. As the nearest suitable port to Hornsea, Grimsby is well established as a major Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base. The Port of Immingham offers large-vessel handling capabilities and sea freight connections to the North Sea’s offshore renewables ports and zones. And Humberside Airport, just 16 minutes away, is a major base for North Sea helicopter services, as well as providing global connectivity via the Amsterdam Schiphol hub.

4. A World-Leading Offshore Renewables Cluster

Unsurprisingly, these large-scale wind farm developments are stimulating the growth of a substantial offshore renewables industry cluster. At the Port of Grimsby, Ørsted has developed its £10 million East Coast Hub, officially opened in September 2019.

Other companies based in the region include Siemens Gamesa, E.ON, RES and MHI Vestas. In the wider Humber cluster, Hull is home to Siemens’ UK wind turbine blade production facility, and, at the University of Hull, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s O&M Centre of Excellence. All of which provides companies in the sector with specialist services, expertise and business growth opportunities.

5. The Right People

It’s all very well being in the right place, but developing the world’s largest wind farms requires something else – the right people with the right technical and offshore skills. And South Humber provides them. The area’s maritime, manufacturing and process industries heritage means there’s a large pool of flexible, technically skilled workers, supported by offshore-focused training and education providers. Working for the best organisations in the industry, these are the people who are delivering the UK’s transition to a low carbon future.

South Humber’s growing offshore renewables cluster is creating opportunities for supply chain businesses and skilled workers. Contact the South Humber team to find out more.