Windfarm conference will give North Devon firms the chance to benefit from Array project

ORGANISERS of a major business networking conference being held to give local firms the chance to get involved with the proposed Atlantic Array offshore windfarm project have said they will hold a similar event in North Devon later this year. The UK Offsh

ORGANISERS of a major business networking conference being held to give local firms the chance to get involved with the proposed Atlantic Array offshore windfarm project have said they will hold a similar event in North Devon later this year.

The UK Offshore Wind Supply Chain Conference taking place in Bristol on Tuesday has attracted large-scale interest and is fully booked. Around 270 firms have applied to attend the free event, being held by Regen SW in conjunction with The Crown Estate and the South West Regional Development Agency. A further 30 businesses remain on a waiting list.

Johnny Gowdy, head business support at Regen SW, said around 70 per cent of the firms attending were based in the South West.

"We've had a lot of interest in the event and as such will be looking to hold another, closer to home, in North Devon later on in the year," he told the Gazette.


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"It's important we look at everything North Devon has to offer the project."

Next Tuesday's conference will feature a presentation by Atlantic Array developer RWE npower renewables. Topics to be covered will include site investigation and planning; ports and infrastructure; construction methods and requirements; manufacturing and fabrication; skills and training; and operations and maintenance.

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Mr Gowdy said that Petroc - formerly North Devon College - was one of the organisations attending next week's event in Bristol.

Talking about the opportunities for local skills training, he said: "Any proposed offshore energy scheme will require workers with mechanical and electrical engineering expertise, as well as maritime skills such as sea survival, VFH radio use, helicopter evacuation, heights and confined spaces training.

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