This RenewableUK blog presents some moments from the first RUKTours — our very own Head of Business Development Vicky Mant journals her day at the MHI Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight.
The MHI Vestas opened their offshore blade factory on the Isle of Wight to our first tour group of staff and members as part of our new RUKTours. I went along with our member representatives from; Fugro, Red Penguin Associates, Manor Renewable Energy and NASH Maritime. We arrived in the morning in Southampton to sail across to Cowes.
We witnessed the loading and transportation of a wind turbine blade on a 'blade runner' vessel from the island back to the MHI Vestas finishing plant at Fawley, where it would be unwrapped and painted. Each blade is a whopping 82 metres long! Once ready, they are shipped to wind farms in the UK and across Europe, ready to start generating clean electricity. The blades for the most powerful turbines in the UK, installed at the EOWDC wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen, were manufactured on the Isle of Wight and blades made on the island are also installed at Walney Extension, the world's largest offshore wind farm.
We owe great thanks to the hosts Ryan Bacon and Dave Smythers for keeping us safe during the tour, and Katy Beavis for her organisation of the event. RUKTours is a great way to support our members in networking whilst witnessing the fascinating sights along the supply chain for renewable wind and marine energy. If you are interested in hosting a tour or attending one, send me an email at Vicky.Mant@RenewableUK.com.
To follow future tours or to see our journey so far, follow the #RUKTours thread on Twitter.
"We were pleased to host this visit to showcase the great team we have on the Isle of Wight manufacturing our V164, 80m long blades".
Julia Brown, Vice President and UK Country Manager at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind UK
"As a professional services organisation ourselves, its been fascinating to see the manufacturing side of the renewables supply chain. You can't fail to be impressed by the blade manufacturing process, high quality product and professionalism right here on our doorstep in the Solent!
Jamie Holmes, Director, NASH Maritime
"After just over a year in the industry, I found the tour uniquely valuable. It's one thing submerging yourself in the industry news, updates and information. It is quite another seeing a key industry player in action".
Heather Wells, Marketing and Commercial Officer, Red Penguin Associates
"A fantastic opportunity to meet new people in the industry and gain an insight into part of the offshore wind farm development process I wouldn't normally get the chance to see".
Julia Roope, Global Business Development Manager Offshore Wind, Fugro