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The further planned increase in the UK’s offshore wind capacity – including the Kentish Flats expansion – offers considerable potential to grow the port’s support facilities and increase its geographic reach to provide cost effective through-life engineering and logistics support to offshore renewables in the North Sea and English Channel.
The table below shows, by development status, actual and proposed generating capacity, which demonstrates the future scale of opportunity for the port.
|Status||Installed capacity (MW)|
Source: UK offshore wind farm development (DECC, February 2013)
Support requirements are likely to change and grow following construction of planned sites in the Thames Estuary, North Sea and English Channel.
The port is anticipating further growth as blue energy, tidal and wave capture becomes a reality. This is expected to occur within the near future as the technology develops towards commercial reality and could be seen as an ‘add-on’ to the existing offshore renewables infrastructure.
The development of other sources of renewable marine energy offers further opportunities for the port to further expand as a centre for both green and blue energy.
We recognise the need to integrate offshore renewables operating and maintenance capabilities with the other requirements of the industries involved, particularly training and construction-related. This may mean collaboration between ports in order to deliver turnkey solutions. The commercial port will actively seek to identify and exploit partnership opportunities with other ports in the UK and Europe.
The port’s nascent concentration of expertise creates opportunity to provide cost effective through-life engineering and logistics support in Thanet. It also offers potential for the port to become a recognised centre of excellence and to exploit its position through the creation of higher skilled job opportunities to serve an emerging but growing industry.
To support all of these activities, we will:
The successful implementation of this part of our plan will: