Steve Clarke, UK Content Manager for Mainstream Renewable Power and SMart Wind
SMart Wind is, to date, the only supply chain-led solution to large-scale, far-offshore wind energy, capable of development, manufacture, installation and long-term operation and maintenance.
The Hornsea Zone is just one of nine large round-three projects in UK coastal waters, comprising almost 5,000sq miles in area and capable of generating 4GW of energy by 2020 – about 4 per cent of the UK's electricity.
Due to its scale, SMart Wind is designing and delivering Hornsea as smaller, standardised wind farms of 500 to 600MW in size.
This modular approach will reduce costs by driving economies of scale in manufacturing and construction, as well as offering a far greater degree of predictability to the investment community and to the supply chain.
The Supergrid concept has been espoused and championed for many years by our CEO, Dr Eddie O'Conner, but Mainstream is also now at the forefront of delivering it, too.
In April, Dr O'Connor launched "Energy Bridge", which aspires to be the first "supernode" (large offshore interconnector) of the Supergrid through installation of an electrical connection between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Plans are at an advanced stage to facilitate the export of some of Ireland's renewables capacity to relevant UK substations.
The UK's ability to physically demonstrate that this project is under way will be vital in convincing our Western European partners of our appetite and our capability to deliver the same off the East Coast, in the North Sea.