THE HUMBER ADVANCED CLUSTER

Developing the UK’s first Advanced Offshore Wind Cluster

Known as the UK’s Energy Estuary, the Humber has long been a centre for energy production, storage and handling.

Now at the forefront of the UK Offshore Wind Sector (OSW), the Humber is forging a reputation for green innovation globally and is already playing a leading role in securing the sector’s future success. It has been showcased in the Government’s Industrial Strategy’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal as an exemplar collaborative cluster.

Innovation and business incubation

Innovation drives the UK’s Offshore wind industry – it’s a powerful, new green energy source which is seen by Government as providing a way for the country to build on its history of invention and enterprise.

The University of Hull has contributed its research power and development capability towards a number of ground-breaking renewable energy innovation projects. Aura, led by the University of Hull is connecting private and public sector organisations to drive innovation in the sector.

Fabrication

The Humber has always looked to the sea for its fortunes. Prosperity has ebbed and flowed over the centuries. Today the Humber is benefitting from the advent of offshore wind, building on its industrial history and expertise.

It has one of the world’s leading offshore wind factories. Hundreds of 81.5-metre blades are being manufactured in the Siemens Gamesa factory in Hull for the next generation 8MW turbines for the Hornsea 2 wind farm, 55 miles off the Yorkshire coast.

Subsea innovation

The University of Hull’s scientists, through the Aura collaboration of universities, are working on the many and varied interactions between offshore renewable energy systems and their environment. The studies are holistic and wide ranging, incorporating impacts from as many relevant disciplines as possible with funding from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). They include looking at the effect of foundations on seabed sediment transfer and the impact of offshore structures on marine plant and animal life.

Operations and maintenance

The UK has a long history of excellence in operations and maintenance (O&M) around the world. It is the home of the world’s largest OSW O&M centre in Grimsby. Owned by Aura partner, Ørsted, the £10 million facilities have an innovative 24/7 Marine and Helicopter Co-ordination Centre (MHCC) coordinating personnel, vessels and helicopters in their OSW fields.

Aura and partner, ORE Catapult, are working on O&M projects showcasing UK excellence, driving solution-focused innovation and improvements in O&M.

Testing and demonstration

The Humber is seizing opportunities to build on its industrial heritage and OSW to transform the supply chain, harnessing benefits of low carbon energy to build a thriving regional economy resilient to a changing climate.

The Aura Innovation Centre is a place where brilliant ideas come to life. The workshop provides specialist equipment that can help businesses test and demonstrate new products, materials and turn innovative business ideas into a reality.

Construction

The development of offshore wind in the Humber has brought huge investment in infrastructure to the region. Millions of pounds have been invested in regenerating the ports of Hull and Grimsby. New buildings have been constructed to service the new low-carbon industry – from factories and offices to other supporting infrastructure. As the low carbon sector grows, so will the construction in the region, ensuring that the Humber continues its progress towards an advanced offshore wind cluster.