MEMBER NEWS: X-Academy boosts bp and EnBW Scottish Morven offshore wind project

February 20, 2023
MEMBER NEWS: X-Academy boosts bp and EnBW Scottish Morven offshore wind project

Five secondees from the industry-led skills organisation, X-Academy, have been handpicked by joint venture (JV) partners, bp and EnBW, to support the Morven offshore windfarm, located off the east coast of Scotland.

As the next major step since the partnership committed more than £1 million to X-Academy in a five-year deal, Morven is creating a number of new roles that xccelerators from the initiative will step into.

The award-winning X-Academy is at a transformative stage as it looks across industry to scale-up its operations following a successful pilot year and plan its growth across the globe.

Through its Industry Enablement Hub, xccelerators have already worked with a number of industry partners, including Net Zero Technology Centre, contributing to several projects across their energy integration programme, and delivered a key white paper to the Scottish government providing their unique vision of the energy sector in Scotland.

X-Academy’s ambition to reskill workers for the energy transition comes amid reports* that it is estimated that to meet energy transition targets around 40,000 people are required to plug the skills gap that exists by 2030.

Peter Tipler, managing director of X-Academy said: “Having just celebrated our first year, X-Academy has been met with an incredible reaction from the industry. Our group of 26 willing and able xccelerators have been involved in more than 25 projects and five external secondments – all of which have been aligned to our core belief of prioritising meaningful impact.

“Having been in close communication with the team at bp and EnBW, we know how much they’ve been looking forward to welcoming xccelerators to the project. Our skills programme has achieved great success in the initial 12 months, and organisations are excited to become a part of it, and the journey our cohorts are on.”

Morven, awarded in the 2022 ScotWind leasing round, is an approximately 860km2 lease, located around 60km off the coast of Aberdeen. The consortium partner’s E1 lease is in an advantaged area, allowing the partners to develop it as a fixed-bottom offshore wind project with a potential generating capacity of around 2.9 gigawatts, sufficient to power the equivalent of more than three million homes when operational.

The project aims to go further than generating wind power with investments including significant expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Scotland, Scottish shipbuilding, port redevelopment and green hydrogen production. Together, it’s expected to support up to £10 billion of investment in support of offshore wind and Scotland’s energy transition.

The secondees, Isabelle Pouncey, Duncan Swanney, Sharon Reji, Louise Davies and Robert Hughes, will be split across four teams. They will join the environment/consents, procurement, training and skills and project management divisions, and will be offered on-the-job-learning for a six-month rotation with Morven. Following the initial group, the Morven team will then welcome new xccelerators to the project.

Tipler added: “As early adopters of X-Academy, bp and EnBW recognised the value we could add to its project and placed a huge amount of trust in the skills programme, and the level of talent that this would attract.

“As five of the xcellerators move to bp’s headquarters in Aberdeen, we’re keen to see how the ScotWind consortium will realise their plans for developing skills and opening up new doors for the energy transition.

“Morven really is a benchmark project for X-Academy and shows how it can support vital new energy projects as they come to fruition.”

Richard Haydock, project director, offshore wind bp said: “bp and EnBW are thrilled to welcome five xccelerators to our Morven project. Our project goes beyond generating wind energy and we are investing in upskilling people for Scotland’s energy transition. We look forward to developing their knowledge of offshore wind and equipping them with the skills to help deliver our Morven project which could generate enough energy to power the equivalent of three million homes every year.”

Backed also by industry not-for-profit ETZ Ltd, the skills programme has already shown the potential that this type of shared peer and industry learning can spawn.

As a professional development programme, X-Academy is about bringing like-minded people together, that possess their own unique skills sets and experience and promotes cross-learning working, to collaborate on industry solutions or expand existing ideas that have real potential.

If you would like to become an industry partners and help xcellerators gain real-life experiences that further harness and nurture their skills, more details can be found here.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise