AREG members tell of advances in air and sea access to offshore renewables

Members of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) learnt about crucial advances in air and sea access to offshore renewable energy developments, from leading industry experts on Tuesday, February 28.

Speakers from The Crown Estate and Bristow European Operations gave an update on the current status and likely future developments for supporting offshore renewables within the seafaring and aviation sector at AREG’s latest members’ meeting.

Scott Butler, who is commercial manager at Bristow European Operations, spoke about the role of helicopters in accessing offshore renewables projects and how Bristow is developing its position within the windfarm market.

He said: “There is much potential for helicopters within the developing marine market and we are building upon what has already been achieved in safe, fast and effective helicopter access.

“Through my responsibility of spearheading Bristow’s entry into the windfarm market, I was able to share the progress being made with AREG’s diverse membership, especially at such a crucial stage of educating the market on the fundamental role of helicopters.”

Peter Hodgetts, marine health and safety champion at The Crown Estate, briefed AREG members about the opportunities and challenges in marine renewables.

“One of the significant features of marine renewables, particularly offshore wind, is the enormous demand for a wide range of project and support vessels throughout the lifecycle of the project,” he said.

“The Crown Estate has a key role to play in overcoming the challenges faced with accessing these projects but also ensuring companies are well-placed to maximise the opportunities available within offshore renewables.”

AREG is a pioneering private-public partnership which aims to position the region as a global energy hub with a reputation for delivering renewable energy innovation. Its membership, which has soared to nearly 200 members, spans the full range of renewable energy expertise from onshore and offshore wind, marine and hydro, bio, solar, geothermal energy and hydrogen and fuel cells.

Morag McCorkindale, chief operating officer at AREG, said: “Aberdeen City and Shire is increasingly being recognised as a leading centre of excellence for offshore renewables. With more than 40 years’ experience of accessing offshore oil and gas platforms and operating in what can often be a harsh marine environment, the region has vital expertise to transfer into this sector. This includes crucial mechanisms such as recognised codes of practice – including health and safety – sharing of information and supply chain management.

“Issues surrounding access and logistical support for offshore renewables is vital to the future development of our supply chain and important projects for the region, including the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), and indeed potential wave and tidal ventures.

“This meeting has provided an important insight and discussion forum for members to find out more about how the region is driving forward vital developments being made in accessing offshore renewable projects.”

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