Harwich: Study aims to make Harwich a key player in the offshore renewable energy sector

A wind turbine blade section is manouevered onto a ship at Harwich International Port A wind turbine blade section is manouevered onto a ship at Harwich International Port

Sunday, December 22, 2013
11:15 AM

A study aimed at making Harwich a key player in the offshore renewable energy sector has been commissioned.

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Tendring District Council and Essex County Council are keen to see the coastal town become an innovation and incubation hub for the sector and want to attract new businesses to the district creating new job opportunities.

They have brought in energy industry consultancy Nautilus Associates to undertake the first-stage feasibility study which will focus on industry demand and will include work on potential locations, delivery models and service offerings.

Jonathan Reynolds, a director at Nautilus, said: “We want to generate responses from a range of sources on how we can build on the expertise already in Harwich and what more can be done to attract new businesses. We will be asking people about a number of sites in Tendring, but there will be a focus on Harwich. We are also asking what kind of support do companies who might come to Harwich need? Is it research and development or access to industry partners?”

Mr Reynolds said the initial questionnaire will go out to the public and will also be emailed to firms with a potential interest in the venture.

Tendring Council interim leader Paul Honeywood said: “This is great news and follows on all the hard work we have been undertaking at the highest levels to get Harwich the recognition it deserves in the sector.

“We have met government ministers in London and on our own patch in Harwich and we have been beating the drum for Harwich at every opportunity available and this study will help us move forward in a positive way.”

The port at Harwich is already at the leading edge of servicing offshore wind farms.

It was used for the installation of the 48-turbine Gunfleet Sands wind farm and the 140-turbine Greater Gabbard project which is the second largest wind farm in the world.

More recently, it was the installation port for the first round of turbines for London Array I, the world’s largest wind farm, with 175 turbines generating 630megawatts of power.

To contribute to the feasibility study, go to www.nautilus.uk.com/harwichinnovation, email HarwichInnovation@nautilus.uk.com or call 01502 509266.

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