The finalists for the 2019 Humber Renewables Awards have been revealed.
A total of eight awards – plus the prestigious Humber Renewables Champion – are up for grabs this year, with green businesses large and small all in the running.
Judges faced a gruelling task scrutinising the entries, in what was a highly competitive year to match the Humber’s burgeoning renewables industry.
Mark O’Reilly, head judge and chairman and chief executive of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said: “It is a great opportunity to stop and celebrate achievement.
“We do that with Offshore Wind Connections and the Humber Renewables Award provides further opportunity. It is great to take stock and see just what has been achieved.
“It is a new venue, by the water, and the entries are as strong as any this year, large and small.
“We have seen over the years the projects are bigger and better than they were, and we can almost take it for granted that we have people working on a large scale wind farm or major solar installation.
“It hasn’t always been that way, and we wouldn’t be talking about it a few years ago. Now, even in the small business category, we have companies working here and exporting knowledge abroad, which is great.”
Here are the finalists this year:
Humber Renewables Small Business of the Year
McAusland & Turner
McAusland & Turner is Hull’s oldest marine surveying and consultancy firm, having first inspected vessels in the Humber in the 19 century.
More than 130 years later, the company is increasingly becoming involved in the wind industry. 2018 renewables targets were met, as turnover hit almost £2.5m.
This year has already seen the firm sign an agreement with Siemens Gamesa to provide all of its surveying and inspection needs in South Africa.
The company is all about helping businesses reduce both their carbon emissions and energy costs.
Well-positioned for rapid growth over the next decade, Pure Renewables’ core business is in the design, supply and installation of low-carbon heating technologies.
Turnover for the year up to May 2019 is expected to hit £1.4m, with hopes for this to rise to £5m by 2024. The business has shown strong growth in the ever-changing renewables sector.
Specialist Marine Consultants
Specialist Marine Consultants Ltd delivers a wide range of services to the offshore energy sector, with more than 90 per cent of its near-£10m turnover coming from renewables.
The business has worked on offshore wind projects globally, carrying out work across Europe, the USA, China and Taiwan.
Locally, it has worked on Humber Gateway, Race Bank and both Hornsea developments. SMC was last year awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for its offshore work.
Best Renewable Energy Project or Installation
Category sponsor: Xceco
ABP (Port of Goole)
ABP’s latest solar installation at the Port of Goole enables the port to be powered by solar alone at peak times.
Completed in February 2019, a total of 4,341 panels were installed on four rooftops at the docks, capable of producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of 154 homes a year.
Surplus supplies are sold to the grid. The project will also reduce CO2 emissions by over 450,000kg per year.
Two decades of work finally came to an end when the new £3.9m ergo business centre in Hessle officially opened its doors.
The new centre, a joint development by East Riding Council and the University of Hull, will focus on the green and renewable sectors, and will provide state-of-the-art office and conference spaces.
East Coast Hub
Hull-based construction firm Hobson & Porter recently completed the multi-million-pound operations and maintenance centre for Orsted.
Hobson & Porter extended the existing operations centre at Grimsby’s Royal Docks, creating a world-class facility for the operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms.
The East Coast Hub will support Orsted’s projects in the North Sea, including the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Hornsea Project Two.
Excellence in Renewable Skills and Training
Category sponsor: James Fisher Marine Services
Drax Power Station has increased its intake of apprentices by 50 per cent as part of its drive to retain and develop its in-house engineering skills and expertise.
The technical apprentice scheme at Drax offers the chance to learn a trade, develop new skills and launch a career in engineering at the UK’s biggest power station and largest de-carbonisation project in Europe.
Nine apprentices will now be trained to work within the maintenance department at Drax.
The Grimsby Institute and its partners are now well into the second intake of its Maintenance Operations Engineering Technician apprenticeship programme.
This is a new government standard for technical apprenticeships, and incorporates electrical, mechanical and instrumentation engineers, along with wind turbine maintenance technicians.
The MOET programme presents opportunities for candidates and employers alike, and is therefore sought after by people wishing to follow the career path.
The Community Interest Company launched in the region in 2012, borne out of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.
It primarily focuses on emergency planning and training for the renewables sector. HFR became one of the Humber region’s first centres to be accredited to provide GWO training.
Since its inception, HFR has provided over £3m of funding to support the community safety campaigns of the region’s fire service.
Category sponsor: Hull College Group
The Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), based at the University of Hull, will see a batch of PhD students arrive in Hull in September, to support the region’s enormous renewable energy ambitions.
The CDT research will be focused on offshore wind and the low-carbon economy, and integrate engineering and the environment.
It will provide the opportunity to develop and integrate practical examples in taught courses across the first year with industry-led and challenge-led projects, followed by three years of focused doctoral research.
The college has worked closely with renewables giant Orsted. Pupils joined up with professionals from the business in the run-up to the 2018 Grimsby 10k, giving them time to learn from leading figures in the offshore wind sector.
All participants in the scheme were given free entry to the 10k event, and joined forces to complete the race. The partnerships continues again in 2019, with both parties working together to build on the success.
James Fisher Marine Services
With a heritage spanning more than 170 years, James Fisher is an established, experienced and respected global company.
Its Coastal Energy Internship Programme has grown in three years from an annual intake of four to 36 last year.
In 2019, it hopes to secure 50 places with energy and engineering companies across the industries it covers. Projects being developed in Grimsby are building on company knowledge gained from working with similar coastal communities in Barrow in Furness, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
Green Innovation Award
Drax has just brought forward a world-first Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage pilot project as it seeks to make what was once a coal-fed power station the world’s first negative emissions mass generator.
Four of the six generating units now run on biomass, delivering carbon savings of more than 80 per cent in Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project.
The BECCS project is seen as having clear potential to become the anchor in a Humber-wide zero carbon economy, fed from Immingham and Hull, with emissions returned beneath the North Sea. Orsted
Together with Northumbrian Water an agreement has been reached for Race Bank offshore wind farm to provide a third of the renewable energy demand for the utility provider.
The 10-year deal is a first power purchase agreement of its kind in the UK, and will deliver 100GWh per year.
Race Bank was project of the year last time out, and this partnership is seen as an exemplar, with long term fixed price electricity secured for operations in the North East, Essex and Suffolk.
Specialist Marine Consultants
Together with the University of Hull, ORE Catapult, Siemens Gamesa, Marin, BMO and TNO, the service provider is developing a new tool to assist projects in the efficient planning of operations and maintenance strategy, with a particular focus on sea states and vessel capabilities on transferring personnel offshore.
A regional software developer has been selected, having worked together on a previous £150,000 proprietary marine renewables programme
Humber Renewables Medium / Large Business of the Year
The blade maintenance specialist is now deploying more than 200 technicians around the globe, five years after making Hull its headquarters.
From providing maintenance for a single turbine manufacturer it now delivers inspection, fabric and tower services to owners, developers and manufacturers worldwide.
Offices have been established in Hamburg, Texas and Rhode Island, and turnover doubled last year to £15 million on the back of 91 per cent increase in sales. Hobson & Porter
Hull-headquartered construction business has delivered Orsted’s East Coast Hub on Grimsby’s Royal Dock – the world’s largest dedicated offshore wind operations and maintenance facility for the cluster of wind farms the client operates out of the Humber.
The offshore energy sector has brought in revenues of £22 million for the business in the past four years, wth the Aura Innovation Centre the latest contribution to the Energy Estuary ripple into general industry. James Fisher Marine Services
The FTSE 250 company, established for more than 170 years, has embraced offshore wind and the Humber, recently opening a large base on Port of Grimsby East and winning a major contract with the latest farm developer, Innogy, to provide site clearance off the Lincolnshire coast for boulders and unexploded ordnance across 145 sq km.
The new base will become a hub of activity for an extended season of activity.
Engaging the Community
Category sponsor: Spencer Group
East Riding Council
The authority has the highest recycling rate in the UK, at 65.4 per cent, 20 per cent higher than the national average.
A total of 171,529 tonnes was collected from domestic wheelie bins or designated sites in 2016/17, putting it in top spot for the first time, with 349 authorities following.
It had secured a second place in 2015/16 in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs listings.
GRP brings together key stakeholders in the public and private sector, providing a conduit for local businesses, developers and top tier conduits.
From a core group of local and port authority and early pioneers, it now has a 100-plus membership.
Its 2019 conference attracted 340 people, gaining national media coverage while hosting a very popular meet the buyer event for Innogy’s Triton Knoll offshore wind farm. It also brought Grimsby, and the Humber, DocksSocks. Orsted
The world’s leading offshore wind farm developer produced an inspirational video charting the transformation of Grimsby from the hearts and minds of key stakeholders in the journey so far.
It was created to raise awareness of the huge positive impact that offshore wind is bringing to once-declining coastal communities, and is being used to underline the importance and significance as Orsted enters the US market.
The mini-documentary was exceptionally well received.
Women in Manufacturing and Engineering
Category sponsor: Innogy
Chloe Horton, Siemens Gamesa
The product data system lead joined the blade factory in project phase as an apprentice engineer, and was described as instrumental in the ramp-up of operations.
Talents were recognised, and she headed up a new in-house system featuring 800 people, becoming a leader with a diverse team.
Earlier this year she was recognised in the Hull and East Yorkshire Top 30 Under 30, as one of the most exciting young business talents. Sophie Marsden, GEV
Dedication, maturity and commitment has been recognised in the 22-year-old who joined GEV four years ago.
From administration apprentice she was promoted to the accounts team, and quickly after to project co-ordination manager, where she has excelled.
Sophie has also completed the Cranfield University Improvement Project Performance Course and her auditing training and AAT qualifications, during GEV’s busiest year to date, managing disbursements of the 200 plus field workforce. Mary Thorogood, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
Working alongside the government to increase the take up of STEM subjects, she has – as part of the sector – worked alongside further education institutions to develop a sector-wide curriculum.
Described as a passionate and encouraging individual who helps others with her vast knowledge, she also engages with young people to get them thinking about offshore wind as a career choice as early as possible.
What happens next?
The 2019 winners will be revealed at a glittering awards night, held at the Country Park Inn in Hessle on Thursday, June 13.
Tickets for the event are available to buy, priced at £35 each or £300 for a table of 10.
To purchase tickets, or for more information, please visit https://reachplcevents.com/events/humberlincs/humber-renewables-awards-2019/.
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