Opportunities for local businesses to get involved in the delivery of the Walney Extension offshore wind farm, to be built off the Cumbrian Coast, were set out at a special supply chain event held in Barrow-in-Furness today (Wednesday 24 February 2016).
DONG Energy's Walney Extension project team and key suppliers to the project presented to a full house at the town's Forum Theatre. The event was run with support from the Furness Economic Development Forum.
Onshore construction has already begun for Walney Extension, DONG Energy's 660-megawatt offshore wind farm which will be located approximately 19 kilometres off the Cumbrian coast, next to the Walney and West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farms. When completed, the wind farm will be capable of supplying the electricity needs of over 460,000 UK homes.
Programme Director for Walney Extension, Andrew Cottrell said: "DONG Energy is absolutely committed to investing in the UK and, with construction gathering pace, we see today's event as a great opportunity for businesses and stakeholders across the region to learn more about the opportunities which the Walney Extension project will offer."
He added: "A number of key components – such as foundation transition pieces and turbine blades – are being sourced here in UK and we now hope to see our large suppliers building on this by focussing on UK content wherever possible."
Speakers at today's event included Jackie Arnold CBE, Vice Chair of the Cumbria LEP and representatives of suppliers including CT Offshore, MHI Vestas, Siemens Wind Power, Sea Jacks and Van Oord.
Jackie Arnold said: "The UK leads the world in the deployment of offshore wind and Cumbria is right at the heart of this growing industry which is helping the transformation to a low carbon economy.
"Walney Extension will on completion become the world's biggest offshore wind farm and local businesses have a great opportunity to get involved as this project moved from the drawing board to become a vital part of the country's energy infrastructure."