Renewable energy company RWE said Thursday it would create an offshore wind operations hub at Grimsby’s Royal Dock, on the UK’s east coast.

The new ‘Grimsby Hub’ 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 gigawatt (GW) Sofia offshore wind farm will also locate its operations and maintenance activities to the new hub in the future.

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 will also 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 company said.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore, RWE Renewables, said: “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. 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.”

RWE said it had picked the Grimsby Hub site 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).  Worth noting, Danish offshore vessel owner Esvagt said Thursday its new SOV would have its first day at work at RWE’s Triton Knoll offshore wind farm from the start of October. RWE last week said it had installed the last of the Vestas 9.5 megawatts (MW) turbines at Tritton Knoll.
The project is on track to complete turbine commissioning in 2021 and achieve final project completion in 2022. Each of the 90 Vestas wind turbines can power a typical home in the UK for 29 hours with just one rotation.

ABP Royal Dock is suited to Service Operations Vessels – Credit: RWE

As for the Grimsby Hub, RWE will lease an additional 1.3 acres of land to enable the expansion. Construction is due to start in Q1 2022 and will run until Q4 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,” RWE said.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, commented: “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.”

RWE is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, involved in the deployment of around 2.4 GW (pro rata) of operational offshore wind capacity, and developing and constructing some of the world’s most advanced offshore wind farms. RWE supports the UK government in achieving its ambitious climate goals.

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. 

Furthermore, the company said it had 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. 

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