MHI Vestas has received its new blade mould on the Isle of Wight as major preparations are now underway to begin production as early as January 2019. The arrival of the mould signals a chief milestone in the company’s manufacturing expansion efforts, which promises to add 1,100 new jobs — direct, indirect, and induced — and £42 million per year in added economic benefit to the Solent region once the second mould is fully operational.
“The UK is the global home of offshore wind, housing the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with over 6% of our home-grown electricity coming from clean wind power,” said Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry. “This Offshore Wind Week, MHI Vestas is contributing to this success story, creating hundreds of new skilled jobs and driving regional growth with £42 million of additional economic benefit expected.”
Perry added: “As part of our modern Industrial Strategy we’re putting the finishing touches to our Offshore Wind Sector Deal to create the right business conditions to export this expertise around the world to ensure this sector goes from strength to strength.”
Offshore wind has become one of the UK’s biggest growth industries thanks in part to companies like MHI Vestas which continues to invest heavily as it establishes a world-class manufacturing centre in the South and keeps pace with surging demand.
“This expansion effort is one of the most ambitious blade initiatives we have ever undertaken,” said MHI Vestas VP of Blades, Bo Jensen. “In close cooperation with the Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight College and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, our training and certification programs are paving the way for the next generation of offshore wind specialists. This development of green energy manufacturing skills will not only benefit MHI Vestas but will also serve to elevate the regional composites industry as well.”
An economic impact analysis conducted by BVG Associates has concluded that, in addition to the 380 new direct jobs at the Isle of Wight blade factory and paint and logistics facility at Fawley, an additional 720 indirect and induced jobs will be added as a result of the company’s expansion effort. The same analysis concluded that the total economic impact would be £42 million additional value-add per year to the regional economy when the second mould is fully operational.
“This expansion is great news and will back long term economic growth on the Island for years to come. MHI Vestas is already creating hundreds of skilled, long term manufacturing jobs at West Medina Mills,” said Bob Seely, Isle of Wight MP. “There will also be hundreds of new jobs in local businesses to support the expansion, putting the Island and the wider Solent region at the heart of the rapidly growing global offshore wind industry.”
The company’s announcement comes as the UK kicks off its annual Offshore Wind Week, highlighting the industry’s accomplishments and expected future impact. Notably, the sector is poised to grow exponentially as the UK expects to get a third of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030, putting offshore wind in position to be the backbone of a clean, reliable, affordable energy system.
About the UK Offshore Wind Market (Source: MAKE Consulting, a Wood Mackenzie Business)
- Current offshore wind installed capacity: 7.1 GW (#1 in the world)
- Cost has come down 50% the last two years and currently stands at £57/MWh
- 8.3 GW of offshore wind will be installed from 2018-2023
- Projected offshore wind capacity by 2030: 30 GW
- Offshore wind is projected to be the centerpiece of the UK’s energy transition