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Crown Estate to accelerate investment in UK offshore wind

Posted on 11 Jun 2024. Edited: Colin Granger. Read 287 times.
Crown Estate to accelerate investment in UK offshore windThe Crown Estate says the UK’s offshore wind industry is set to benefit from increased ‘early-stage investment’ in its supply chain through the launch of the Supply Chain Accelerator — a new £50 million fund created to ‘accelerate and de-risk the early-stage development of projects linked to offshore wind, helping to grow and nurture the UK’s domestic supply chain’.

An initial £10 million round of funding is now open for ‘Expressions of Interest’ for businesses wishing to establish UK projects that could support the development of a new UK supply chain capability for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea. This follows the Crown Estate research — The Celtic Sea Blueprint — published earlier this year, which predicted that 5,300 jobs and a £1.4 billion economic boost could be generated through deploying the first floating offshore wind capacity that will result from the current ‘Leasing Round 5’ process in the waters off South Wales and South West England.

This research highlighted opportunities for supply chain development essential for the development of these floating wind farms including: floating platform components; dynamic cables and connections; wet storage infrastructure and facilities; operations and management infrastructure and facilities; and skills transition facilities. The Accelerator’s first £10 million funding round will be geared towards projects specifically looking to address some of these opportunities. The application process opens formally in mid-June and closes at the end of July.

Following the deployment of the first £10 million round of funding, a further £40 million has been earmarked that could potentially be deployed to support UK projects that meet the opportunities identified by the Industrial Growth Plan, which was launched in April by RenewableUK (and industry partners including the Crown Estate) and set out the actions required to triple offshore wind manufacturing capacity over the next 10 years.

Will Apps, the Crown Estate’s offshore wind strategy director, said: “We are delighted to launch our Supply Chain Accelerator, which will catalyse early-stage project development and maximise the opportunities identified in the Celtic Sea Blueprint. Investing in our domestic supply chain will enable the UK to remain a world leader in offshore wind while creating jobs and economic growth in communities local to these transformative projects.

“I would encourage businesses with strong development plans and an ambition to support one of the UK’s most-future-thinking sectors to consider submitting proposals to the Accelerator for funding and play an important part in the UK’s exciting energy transition.”