Page 0009

Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC)

which, together with Government, identified

the challenges facing the sector and developed the Strategy's

action plans.

Developers must also provide a project-byproject

pipeline of demand showing key

milestones ahead including tendering and

investment decision dates to inform lower

tier companies, including new entrants. The

Offshore Wind Project Timelines Reports are

published in June each year at the Offshore

Wind Conference of the sector's main trade

association, RenewableUK, which has over

500 member companies.

Share Fairs to focus on near term projects

and allow suppliers to meet and hear directly

from buyers about their procurement strategies are

also being held. These are an idea

adopted from the oil & gas industry and will

complement supply chain events and supplier days run by individual developers.

But new UK suppliers will only benefit from

this commitment by industry and government for more

local content if they are fit for

purpose, and one of the most important

programmes launched for engineering companies is GROW:Offshore

Wind - a Regional

Growth Fund support programme aimed

specifically at increasing UK content in offshore

supply chains.

GROW:OFFSHORE WIND

GROW:OffshoreWind is delivered by Grant

Thornton and programme partners the

Manufacturing Advisory Service, RenewableUK and Sheffield University, in close collaboration

with industry leaders and

Government.

GROW:Offshore Wind gives SMEs direct

access to market experts, technological

know-how through specialist centres, and

funding support to aid upfront investment.

Dominic Brown, Head of GROW:Offshore

Wind, says developers they have spoken to

are keen to increase UK content and companies looking to

invest in Tier 1 facilities here

will want assurances of the availability of local

supply chains to service their operations.

"Through RenewableUK," he says, "we will

effectively have the 'voice of the customer.'

Its Supply Chain Strategy group (see page

10), together with its wider membership,

consists of key tier one manufacturers and

developers that will help steer the programme."

GTMA is in close contact with RenewableUK

about how it can help fill expected supply

chain bottlenecks. "We are very keen to

make our large engineering resource dovetail

into supply gaps," says CEO Julia Moore.

GROW:Offshore Wind is providing upfront

analysis of the realistic commercial opportunities for UK manufacturers

and giving them

a clearer understanding of the scale of

future demand and how they can best benefit from

it.

A breakdown of offshore wind components

into their technical, commercial and qualifying criteria

helps manufacturers match their

capabilities with market opportunities, and

an initial assessment by a GROW:Offshore

Wind advisor helps them understand any

potential supplier performance gaps.

Financial support is available on a matchedfunded basis up to

£500,000 to help companies overcome

these gaps and make

them ready for competitive tendering. This

funding can support a wide variety of activity

including support for progressing the sector's

innovation challenges of driving down

cost and improving quality and efficiency.

The initiative also gives manufacturers access

to a national network of Technology Centres.

Contact point to register your interest in

GROW:Offshore Wind is at the end of this

article.

GROW:Offshore Wind is direct action aimed

at the supply chain, but the Government's

strategy also dealt with a range of other

issues that impact on cost and performance.

Many of these are being driven by the

Offshore Wind Programme Board (OWPB), a

joint industry-Government body of offshore

wind developers, supply chain companies,

funding organisations and Government.

ENGINE FOR ACTION

In its 2014 annual report OWPB describes itself

as "an engine for action" to make offshore wind

the leading low cost low carbon power source

through the 2020s and 2030s - it is, it says,

"one of the most exciting engineering and

energy experiences open to the UK."

OWPB has created eight workstreams, each

led by an industry leader, under these key

headings:

Supply Chain • Skills • Technology and

Innovation • Contracting Strategies •

Planning and Consent • Grid + Finance •

Operations & Maintenance

Activities in each workstream are outlined in

the annual report and each has a vision of

ENERGYOFFSHORE WIND

9

continued on page 10

Photo courtesy RWE Innogy -

the company has more than 30

wind farms in the UK and

around 20 hydropower sites.

Hydropower is a sector which

is unlikely to see many more

big investments in the UK,

unlike wind renewables which

continues to grow significantly.

The photo is at the Gwynt y

Mor windpark, 13 km off the

North Wales coast.

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