A deal has been sealed between Norfolk and Suffolk and a part of the US east coast which wants to develop its offshore wind industry.
A Memorandum of Understanding between New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the City of Virginia Beach in the US has been signed. It is hoped that the agreement will open up trade and investment opportunities for the wind sector here as well as helping projects on the other side of the Atlantic. Other sectors could also benefit.
It follows pre-pandemic talks around offshore opportunities for UK firms. The US industry is in its infancy and its coast currently has just seven turbines – two of which are pilot turbines off Virginia Beach – compared to more than 1,000 operating now in the Southern North Sea.
New Anglia LEP chief executive Chris Starkie said: “Our energy sector has a world-leading supply chain with more than 50 years’ experience and this exciting agreement with Virginia Beach will foster relationships focused on inward investment, exports, skills development and collaboration.
“The offshore wind industry is in its infancy in the US and Norfolk & Suffolk businesses can share the knowledge and experiences they have gained on the journey to becoming the UK’s largest offshore wind cluster.
“It is also clear that there are inward investment opportunities in the agri-food and digital/ICT, sectors which are also key to our region’s future economic prosperity, and this agreement will enable us to better explore these.”
Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project off Virginia Beach will be the largest in the USA at 2.64 gigawatts.