Energy firm lays the groundwork for Celtic Sea project

The UK’s leading energy generator has begun work to help equip potential supply chain companies in the South West with the skills needed to take full advantage of floating wind opportunities in the future.

RWE, which aims to have 4GW of floating wind capacity in operation globally by 2035, hosted and Barnstaple, North Devon, which was attended by Selaine Saxby MP.

Representatives from dozens of businesses, from local SMEs through to multinational manufacturers attended to give their input alongside higher and further education providers, as RWE seeks to identify skills gaps and potential recruitment challenges.

The Crown Estate’s latest auction round for new floating wind sites is focused on the Celtic Sea.

Industry studies anticipate that just the first gigawatt (GW) of floating wind to be developed in the zone could potentially deliver around 3,000 jobs and £682 million in supply chain opportunities.

Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Celtic Sea, said: “Floating wind in the Celtic Sea offers a fantastic opportunity to invest in coastal communities like North Devon and others.

“It was a real pleasure to speak with RWE and hear about their work, as well as those from the dozens of businesses they have brought together.

“By highlighting what our current capabilities are and where we have the greatest potential, we can ensure companies in the region can work with developers like RWE and benefit directly.”

RWE and its floating wind team has been working under memorandums of understanding with a number of innovative companies that are developing offerings which could support future floating wind opportunities, including Swansea based MPS and Falmouth headquartered Tugdock.

These skills and supply chain events form part of the company’s industry-leading approach to skills by collaborating with the supply chain from an early stage.

Philippa Powell, project lead for RWE’s Celtic Sea floating wind team, said: “RWE has more than two decades of experience in developing offshore wind, and as such well understand the need to plan for the workforce ahead of time.

“By fostering collaboration across the supply chain, education and other organisations, we can help put regions such as the south west and south Wales on the right footing to be able to play their part in delivering the huge opportunities that floating wind provides, including in the Celtic Sea.”