Large staging cluster will not reduce costs, say offshore wind developers

There is little evidence that the development of a ‘large cluster’ for offshore wind staging and manufacturing activities would significantly reduce the marginal cost of energy from the UK’s offshore wind projects, compared with  supply chain development using existing port infrastructure.

That’s one of the findings of a strategic review of UK east coast staging and construction facilities by BVG Associates for the Offshore Wind Industry Council.

  • Offshore Wind Industry Council members agree that the current UK ports portfolio can support the anticipated pipeline, subject to the ports remaining competitive.
  • Developers support investment in port and supply chain facilities on an individual project basis, after government support has been obtained and a financial investment decision has been reached.
  • Focusing on regional coordination of staging and manufacturing capability is likely to stimulate supply chain growth, with the potential to create regional staging and manufacturing clusters.
  • Industry is motivated to support greater levels of UK industrialisation by identifying ways in which it can proactively contribute to the UK Government’s work to accelerate supply chain investment and help stimulate export activity

 

The study defined a cluster as a port with the capability to accommodate the staging activity of two large wind farm projects per year and also with enough contiguous land to support three manufacturing activities. It identified six ports on the UK east coast that could accommodate a cluster.

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