Energy company RWE is to make a strategic commitment to the UK’s east coast with the creation of an operations hub for offshore wind farms at Grimsby’s Royal Dock.
The new ‘Grimsby Hub’ facility will expand the existing Triton Knoll offshore wind farm base and will be the home for RWE’s specialist team for major component exchanges and offshore repairs.
As part of the move, RWE’s 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm will also locate its operations and maintenance activities to the new hub in the future.
In total, RWE expects the new facility will accommodate around 140 RWE employees, with potentially around 60 new jobs created, plus indirect jobs required in support. The Grimsby Hub is also expected to enable the company to strengthen its relationship with the region’s businesses and local communities, by committing to a longer-term presence in the area.
”The Grimsby Hub will be a significant facility for RWE, where we will establish a dynamic one-team approach for the operation of our two largest offshore windfarms,” Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore, RWE Renewables, said.
”By clustering our operations and control room activities in one place, we can share knowledge, expertise and learning that will be beneficial to the whole RWE offshore fleet. Long term this will ensure our projects deliver efficient, cost-effective electricity, and help RWE achieve its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.”
The location of the Grimsby Hub was chosen because of its proximity to existing and future projects and its deep-water quayside, which is suited to the use of Service Operations Vessels (SOVs).
RWE will lease an additional 1.3 acres of land to enable the expansion. Construction is due to start in the first quarter of 2022 and will run until the ebnd of 2022, with first occupation expected later in 2023.
Once constructed, the new facility will include a state-of-the-art joint control room offering 24/7 monitoring of multiple sites, new shared office space, and separate warehouse facilities.
Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, said: “This is fantastic news and represents yet another huge vote of confidence in the Port of Grimsby which is already the leading home of offshore wind operations and maintenance in the world. The port has the right combination of location, infrastructure and available workforce to make it the place to be as the offshore sector continues to grow in the coming years.”
Alongside Triton Knoll, RWE is constructing the 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm and is progressing four extension projects in the UK, with a combined potential installed capacity of around 2.6 GW. RWE’s pro rata share in these projects is 1.3 GW.
Furthermore, the company successfully bid for two new adjacent offshore sites on Dogger Bank, with a potential total installed capacity of 3 GW, in The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Round 4 Leasing auction.