UK Launches $60M Offshore Wind Supply Chain Accelerator

© DJ / Adobe Stock
© DJ / Adobe Stock

The Crown Estate has launched Supply Chain Accelerator to catalyze early-stage investment in U.K. offshore wind supply chain.

The accelerator is a new $63.6 million (£50 million) fund created to accelerate and de-risk the early-stage development of projects linked to offshore wind, helping to grow and nurture the UK’s domestic supply chain.

An initial $12.7 million (£10 million) round of funding is now open for Expressions of Interest for businesses looking to establish UK projects that could support the development of a new UK supply chain capability for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea. 

Earlier in 2024, the Crown Estate published research, The Celtic Sea Blueprint, which predicted that 5,300 jobs and a $1.78 billion (£1.4 billion) economic boost could be generated through deploying the first floating offshore wind capacity, that will result from the current Leasing Round 5 process, in the waters off South Wales and South-West England.

This research highlighted a number of opportunities for supply chain development essential for the development of these floating wind farms including floating platform components; dynamic cables and connections; wet storage infrastructure and facilities; operations and management infrastructure and facilities; and skills transition facilities.

The accelerator’s first funding round will be geared towards projects specifically looking to address some of these opportunities, helping to kick-start projects by providing matched funding of up to $1.27 million (£1 million) for early-stage development expenditure. The Crown Estate will look for the option to participate in the capital investment phase.

The application process opens formally in mid-June and closes at the end of July. Successful projects will be chosen following an application assessment process and announced from October 2024. The Crown Estate will be supported by leading professional services firm Grant Thornton.

“I’d encourage businesses with strong development plans and an ambition to support one of the UK’s most future-thinking sectors to consider submitting proposals to the Accelerator for funding, and play an important part in the UK’s exciting energy transition,” said Will Apps, Offshore Wind Strategy Director at the Crown Estate.

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