Chief's emptying bucket list is a sign of offshore wind's potential becoming reality

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 26 Apr 2018

TEAM Humber Marine Alliance chairman Mark O’Reilly opened Offshore Wind Connections 2018 main conference day with his rapidly emptying bucket list for the region’s burgeoning sector.

And having ticked off so many early dreams as potential has been realised, he switched focus from the estuary to the globe.

Read more: 'Big con trick' claim blown out of the water by Renewable UK at OWC2018

Mr O’Reilly said: “All the nay-sayers have been silenced.

“A lot of things have happened in a fairly short period of time, all completely positive. So what next? There are some very successful companies now working globally, some have been working in offshore wind in other countries before they have in the Humber.

“We are at the beginning of this industry, let’s take it round the world.”

Read more: 'Two Jags' drives forward 'Two Banks' message from the Humber

He gave examples of GEV at Hessle, with more US employees than UK, and SMC Ltd, recent recipient of the Queen’s Award for International Trade.

On the list, displayed on huge screens, within Double Tree Hilton Hull where it was standing room only for delegates, Mr O’Reilly said: “One of the main ambitions was Siemens coming to Hull, we got that.

“AMEP has not quite happened, it is not dead in the water, so I put a little asterisk to see what happens with that one.

Read more: First substation now 'in situ' on world's biggest wind farm

“Triton Knoll Wind Farm is here, we have the guys from Innogy, so that box is ticked.

“Hornsea, we had presentations from Smartwind back in 2014, Chris Jenner talking about a project in the distant future. We have the operations manager today. It is happening, this year, and blades will be sent from Hull.

“Dogger Bank is another far off project. Today we will hear from Innogy and activity on Dogger Bank is not long off.”

Read more: Triton Knoll's port plans are firming up

Turning to the sector support, and Grimsby’s burgeoning role in running the power stations of the sea, he said: “Something we wanted was an Operations and Maintenance Institute and we talked about it for many years with the university and a few other organisations. We hoped it would happen and this year it has happened with a nice collaboration with University of Hull and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.”

Read more: £12m Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead business park by Humber Bridge gets go-ahead

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