Lowestoft has ambitions to become the UK’s wind energy capital. This week it will host a conference with industrial leaders from wind energy companies, including speakers from Germany, Denmark and the UK. The conference will look at current successes and the outlook for Lowestoft within the off-shore wind energy sector. The event is being funded by POWER, an EU initiative.
The first offshore wind farm in the East of England, Scroby Sands with its 30 2MW turbines, was completed in 2004 off the Great Yarmouth coast. The project management, assembly and related engineering was conducted within the two towns. Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth have traditionally a strong industry base in the offshore oil and gas sector, with substantial energy and marine experience. The ports of these twin towns are ideally located for serving a large number of offshore wind farms.
OrbisEnergy – the Offshore Renewable Energy Centre
OrbisEnergy, formerly know as Offshore Renewable Energy Centre (OREC), will be based in a building built in Lowestoft, to be completed by late 2007. It is funded by the Regional Development Agency, Objective 2 and local councils. The Centre will support the development of the offshore renewables sector, providing quality office accommodation, a landmark building for the sector and the region, and the opportunity to closely link research and education with business activities.
Playing on traditional strengths of a region’s economy and skills by taking advantage of a new industry such as offshore wind is the way forward for creating sustainable regional economies.