New US deal will see Humber take offshore wind expertise stateside
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 2 May 2019
A new deal struck between the Humber and Rhode Island will see the region’s offshore wind expertise head stateside.
The contract, signed in front of an audience of 400 delegates at the Offshore Wind Connections conference in Hull, comes after a state visit from Rhode Island to the Humber last year.
Offshore wind leaders in the US state are keen to tap into the Humber’s expertise and experience in clean energy.
Aura and Team Humber Marine Alliance will now help develop an offshore wind strategy for Rhode Island’s Commerce Corporation after a successful joint bid for the contract.
Rhode Island is home to the first offshore wind farm in America.
Mark O’Reilly, Team Humber Marine Alliance CEO and organiser of the OWC conference, said an outward mission last October to the East Coast USA helped pave the way for the deal.
“There has been huge interest in how we have overcome the challenges in developing a strong offshore wind sector in the Humber and to learn from us in building an offshore wind ‘ecosystem’,” he said.
“They are harnessing our expertise so that they can develop an effective strategy early in the development of the sector.
“The deal illustrates just how far the Humber has come.”
The strategy will follow a period of research and analysis, supply chain work and advice around cluster development and collaboration.
It is expected that the relationship with Rhode Island will continue over the next few years.
Offshore wind in the USA is poised for tremendous growth in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, driven by cost reductions in green energy and support at both federal and state level.
Stefan Pryor, secretary of commerce for the State of Rhode Island Corporation, said: “This is a great moment for offshore wind across the world.
“Rhode Island is known as the ocean state in America, and we have 400 miles of coastline.
“We salute Team Humber Marine Alliance for being so forward thinking and for taking on the burden of developing offshore wind.
“The primary purpose of the new deal is to act on the lessons learned in the Humber, and to help grow the supply chain.”
The contract was signed by Stefan Pryor, Aura director Ben George and Mark O’Reilly, CEO at the Team Humber Marine Alliance.
It was also witnessed by Graham Stuart MP, minister for investment, Department for International Trade.
Ben George, director of Aura, which is led by the University of Hull to harness and drive innovation in the low-carbon sector, said: “We are excited to be supporting Rhode Island in their continuing journey.
“It was the first to deploy offshore wind with Block Island in 2016, and is now looking to establish an offshore wind industry model that uses the Humber as the example.
“We’re proud to have the knowledge and experience to help Rhode Island accelerate their own plans for establishing offshore wind as a major player in renewable energy in the US for the future.”