Offshore wind: Government seeks applications from potential port developers

It has launched a formal competitive process to accelerate the development of large-scale manufacturing portside hubs to create the next-generation of offshore wind turbines

The Big Zero report

The government is offering a sum of up to around £70 million for the development of a single large coastal manufacturing site for the offshore wind sector and is seeking applications from coastal landowners and potential port developers.

It has launched a formal competitive process to accelerate the development of large-scale manufacturing portside hubs to create the next-generation of offshore wind turbines.

The government says the expected rapid deployment of offshore wind across the UK, Europe and globally over the next decade, together with the increasing size of turbines, means there is a need for a major expansion in manufacturing capacity in the coming years.

The proposed site must be coastal and the site must comprise a minimum of 200 hectares of available land with unfettered access to the planned quay to support the manufacture, storage and assembly of offshore wind turbines and components.

The project must also have a realistic chance of commencing manufacturing activities by the end of 2023 and must be financially viable with the help of the funding.

Although the award amount is not fixed – and an award of a greater amount may be made – the government expects it to be around £70 million.

However, if applicants consider their project would require a greater award amount in order to proceed, they are advised to mention it in their application.

The call for applications is being issued with a view to offering a letter in principle to a single large port hub developer in early 2021.

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is already leading the world in offshore wind energy – establishing a major new offshore wind manufacturing hub, supported by thousands of skilled UK workers, will make sure we capitalise on the huge potential of our green ambitions.

“This is an essential part of our plan to increase capacity to 40GW by the end of this decade – a bold target that will help keep us at the forefront of the green industrial revolution.”

Applications must be submitted by 8th January 2021.

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