FOW CoE: Strategic Infrastructure and Supply Chain Development

Strategic infrastructure and supply chain capacity will play a key role in the UK maximising the floating offshore wind opportunity – both by reducing cost and risk of project delivery, and in securing a larger share of project expenditure in the UK. One key way to maximise the opportunity is through the development of port infrastructure, supply chain capability and capacity.

In this context, the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE), developed and delivered the “Strategic Infrastructure and Supply Chain Development” project. The project determined the future infrastructure and supply chain requirements of the industry, related these to existing capability and identified key strategic development needs. Infrastructure and supply chain requirements were then specified in terms of capability and capacity. Infrastructure and supply chain development options were linked to the location of project activity, desired level of UK content and cost reduction pathway targeted. For a range of short-listed facilities, a business and investment case was developed and assessed. The project then quantified the impact on Gross Value Add (GVA) of the proposed developments, to help key stakeholders assess the broader business case for supporting such developments.

The project identified significant barriers to private sector investment in large scale port facilities in the UK. These barriers, if not addressed, will impede the development of port infrastructure in the UK and in turn, the cost-effective deployment of fixed and floating wind projects in the UK to 2030 and beyond. However, several options exist to address these barriers. These include evolving the existing CfD system to facilitate earlier commitment to manufacturing and port facilities, the development of an offshore wind specific scheme to underwrite the risk associated with reduced use of facilities, and taking a coordinated approach to leasing, consenting and award of revenue support mechanisms, to deliver a steady stream of projects in each region, maximising the use of infrastructure developed.


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Image: Turbines at sea, part of a floating wind network
Photo of the WindFloat Atlantic project courtesy of Principle Power/Ocean Winds

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