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Wales’ biggest offshore wind farm hosts “Women in Energy” event in collaboration with The Offshore Energy Alliance

  • Women working in offshore wind attend event at RWE’s Gywnt y Mor site at the Port of Mostyn
  • Women currently make up 20.6 per cent of the UK offshore wind workforce
  • Attendees visited the wind farm’s control room and viewed Gwynt y Môr turbines up close

RWE, the UK’s biggest electricity generator, has marked this week’s International Women in Engineering Day by hosting a tour of the largest wind farm in Welsh waters.

The group of 20 was made up of women from organisations that are involved with the Offshore Energy Alliance (OEA), the supply chain cluster for north Wales and north west England.

Attendees were drawn from organisations including Welsh and UK Governments, Menai Science Parc (MS-Parc on Anglesey), Bangor University,  Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company, supply chain partners such as Workplace Worksafe, Renewable UK along with RWE colleagues.

Commissioned in 2015, the 160-turbine Gwynt y Môr has a capacity of 576 MW, generating power equivalent to the needs of 500,000 homes.

A sister project which is planned for an area of seabed immediately to the west, named Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is currently awaiting determination following the examination of its application for a Development Consent Order.

Kerry McCole, Gwynt y Môr’s General Manager, said: “Having worked in renewable energy and offshore wind for more than 15 years, I know it to be a fast-moving, fast-growing industry with plenty of opportunity.

“RWE’s own development pipeline includes Awel y Môr here in north Wales, as well as ambitions to develop more than a gigawatt of floating wind in the Celtic Sea.

“With more than 100,000 jobs set to be created in the UK in offshore wind by 2030 as part of the UK’s push for net zero, we simply can’t afford to under-recruit from half of the population.

“I was very happy to welcome this group of talented women to see Gwynt y Môr, and hope this is another step along the journey to inspiring an industry that is more representative of the world at large.”

One of the attendees was Dr Debbie Jones, Low-carbon Innovation Manager at Anglesey-based M-Sparc, Wales’s first science park.

Dr Jones said: “It’s a personal career highlight for me as I’ve never visited a wind farm before.

“We at M-SParc are really pleased to be supporting the Offshore Energy Alliance for Women in Energy Day. As Wales’ first dedicated science park with a growing Low Carbon Energy’ team it’s important for us to inspire the younger generation across north Wales into exciting careers in sciences, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and to show other women what can be achieved.

“The opportunity to bring together leading women from this sector to visit Wales’ largest offshore wind farm allows us to network and collaborate, but much more needs to be done in the sector to ensure women remain in STEM careers.”

According to Renewable UK, women currently make up 20.6 per cent of the offshore wind workforce, with an industry target to increase this to 33 per cent by the end of the 2030.

Established as part of the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the OEA’s mission statement is to highlight north Wales and the north west of England as leaders in the offshore energy transition. The cluster organisation is made up of partners that are working together to increase local benefit from energy projects in the region across business growth, infrastructure, innovation and skills.