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Offshore wind is first renewable technology to agree Sector Deal

07 March 2019

We welcome today's landmark Sector Deal between the offshore wind industry and the Government. For a region where a great deal of manufacturing for this sector takes place, it is a cause for celebration as Solent businesses are well placed to benefit from growth within this sector

This is the first Sector Deal for a renewable energy technology. It puts offshore wind at the centre of the nation’s clean, affordable and reliable energy system, almost quadrupling the capacity from 7.9 gigawatts now to at least 30GW by 2030, generating one-third of the electricity used in the UK. This level of certainty is unmatched by any other European government and means the UK will remain the anchor market for offshore wind.

For the Solent region the sector offers exciting developments for our fast-growing supply chain, where our small businesses have the potential to increase their involvement in key services such as designing, building and operating offshore wind farms, as well as manufacturing blades, turbine towers and cables. The industry is setting a target to increase the UK content of national offshore wind farms to 60% by 2030, as part of the Sector Deal.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind is based on the Isle of Wight, where the company serially manufactures the largest (offshore) wind turbine blades in the world for the record breaking V164-8.0MW turbine. Julian Brown their Country Manager said: "Today’s launch of the Sector Deal sets the long term context for MHI Vestas’ continued growth and job creation in the UK by putting the UK on a path to deliver at least 30GW by 2030. I’m excited that MHI Vestas will play an important part in the UK’s offshore wind revolution in the next decade."

Recent investments by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind were supported by the Solent LEP, and as a result they are already delivering on the Sector Deal ambitions. On the Isle of Wight they have created nearly 400 new highly skilled jobs in 2019, exporting over three quarters of the UK's 2019 output and investing £1 million in a 4 year skills programme.

Brian Johnson, a Business Director for the Solent LEP and SME Ambassador said: "With the Solent's innovative base of small and medium-sized businesses, with composite manufacturing expertise and our world-class skills base across a range of sectors, we are well placed to support this expected growth in exports. The Solent LEP is committed to continue to working with MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and the Offshore Wind Industry Council to ensure that the Solent's small and medium-sized businesses are able to benefit from this growth."

Click here to view the Policy paper on the Offshore wind: Sector Deal

More on Sector Deals can be found here.