About Offshore Wind
Since the first wind turbine was installed in 2001, close to 2000 turbines have already been installed or are in construction in UK waters. Despite this challenges lie ahead. The offshore wind industry is moving fast into the mainstream and supplying an ever-larger proportion of power demand. As it does so, it faces increasing pressure from government to bring costs down further.
In order to achieve cost reduction while being tasked with providing more energy, offshore wind developers are building bigger and bigger projects, using mega-machines and moving further offshore into deeper waters. Eventually, across Europe, hundreds of thousands of people will be working, directly or indirectly, in the offshore wind industry.
Fit to Supply?
To compete in the market place, potential suppliers must prepare themselves like any other enterprise wishing to compete for business. This will require having a clear business plan, sound finances, good control over their activities (Health and Safety and other legal compliance) as well as the capacity to deliver services or products for which they wish to tender.
Our advice would be to be realistic about the size of contract you wish to take on. Contracts are normally awarded on the basis that the value of the contract does not exceed around a quarter of the supplier’s turnover. Otherwise cash-flow difficulties can be caused by the company having insufficient working capital to finance the project.
Procedures and policies are another off-putting element of procurement, especially for small and medium sized businesses. However, help is at hand as there are many organisations that offer businesses a “template” service where you can purchase those compliance templates as and when you choose.
There is also a vast amount of good advice, training and workshops available in Kent through the Low Carbon Kent Network, Chambers of Commerce and other business support agencies.
Guide to an Offshore Wind Farm
ORE Catapult have launched an online version of the Guide to an Offshore Wind Farm: https://guidetoanoffshorewindfarm.com/. BVG Associates produced the website for them, based on their Guide produced for the Crown Estate and ORE Catapult in January 2019.
Download a PDF version of the guide from here: https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/2861/guide-to-offshore-wind-farm-2019.pdf