MEDIA RELEASE

South West Marine Energy Park board appoints first chair and secures funding

For immediate release: 26 October 2012

Meeting in Bristol this week, the South West Marine Energy Park board has elected Peter Kydd, director of strategic consulting at Parsons Brinckerhoff, as its first chairperson.

Peter, who has over 30 years experience working in the engineering and energy sector will now chair the board which is made up of representatives from the marine energy industry and south west universities, together with representatives from Local Enterprise Partnerships, Regen SW and Local Authorities.

Peter’s election comes as the steering board approved the South West MEP’s business plan and received confirmation of initial funding contributions from a coalition of local partners including Cornwall Council, Bristol City Council, Plymouth City Council, University of Exeter, Plymouth University and the Wave Hub.

This initial funding, which will be matched by contributions from the private sector, has enabled the South West MEP to commence a programme of initiatives which are intended to make the south west a spring board for the commercial deployment of the marine energy sector. They include promoting and marketing the south west marine energy industry at a national and international level, influencing energy policies and working with local stakeholders and national bodies such as the Crown Estate and Marine Management Organisation to establish a commercial development plan for the industry.

The South West MEP will also be working in partnership with local authorities, LEP’s and inward investment agencies to secure investment in the ports, grid infrastructure, skills development and supply chain which are required to sustain industry growth.

The long term strategy for the south west includes the deployment of over 2 GW of marine energy technology by the mid 2020’s which could be the catalyst for the industry to create over 5000 jobs in the offshore energy sector. In the near term the park hopes to deliver at least 50 MW of renewable energy projects by 2017.

Peter Kydd says “A top priority for the South West MEP is to attract finance and investment into the sector, and the board moved quickly to put in place a finance working group which will target investment from the private sector as well as UK Government and EU funding. Already plans are in place to hold a south west/Guernsey finance seminar in the new year to explore how the South West MEP can work with the investment funds managed in the Channel islands” 

Johnny Gowdy, director at Regen SW, who will provide programme management for the park says, “The South West MEP is a great example of a public/private partnership coming together to support industry growth. Success now will depend on how the partnership is able to work together to utilise the fantastic assets and natural resources that we have in the south west including our dynamic and innovative businesses.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

About the South West Marine Energy Park
The UK Government has promoted the creation of the Marine Energy Park (MEP) as part of its strategy to support the development of the UK marine energy sector.

The South West MEP was designated as the UK’s first Marine Energy Park in January 2012 and covers the geographic area from the Severn Estuary and around the coast of Cornwall to the Isle of Wight. The designation recognises the fantastic energy resources that the south west offers. This includes wave, wind, tidal stream and tidal range resources – as well as the clusters of research, industry and supply chain around the hub areas of Bristol, Plymouth and Cornwall. 

The aim of the South West MEP is to create a business environment that will accelerate the commercial development of the marine energy sector. To do this the South West MEP has established a powerful partnership which now consists of over 80 organisations from the private sector, research organisations, universities and public bodies.

For more details about the South West MEP please download the prospectus at http://www.regensw.co.uk/projects/offshore-renewables/marine-energy-/marine-energy-parks

As well as representatives from Bristol City Council, Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council the South West MEP Board consists of:

Nicholas Ames - Supacat/Heart of the South West LEP

Richard Guyatt - Bond Pierce/West of England LEP

Mike Reynolds - A&P/Cornwall and IoS LEP

Richard Parkinson - Mojo Maritime

Diccon Rogers - Keynvor morlift Ltd

Tore Gulli - Fred Olsen

Lars Johanning - University of Exeter

Adam Corney - Plymouth University

Alan Champneys - Bristol University

Ross Fairley - Burges Salmon Llp

Claire Gibson - Wave Hub

Martin Murphy - Tidal Energy Ltd

Peter Kydd - Parsons Brinckerhoff

Rob Rawlinson Smith - GL Garrad Hassan

Michael Huntingford - Zero Carbon Marine

Peter Hughes - PML Applications

Johnny Gowdy - Regen SW (Programme manager)

About Regen SW
Regen SW is a leading independent, not-for-profit, centre of expertise in sustainable energy. Its mission is to enable business, local authorities, communities and other organisations to deliver ground-breaking renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with thriving local supply chains.
www.regensw.co.uk

About Wave Hub

1. Wave Hub consists of a giant ‘socket’ on the seabed connected to the national grid onshore by an underwater cable. Wave energy devices can then be ‘plugged’ into the hub and tested on a scale not seen anywhere before. The hub has four berths available and a capacity of 20MW, equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 7,000 homes.
2. Wave Hub is publicly-owned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which has set up a stand-alone operating company, Wave Hub Limited, based in Hayle, Cornwall, to manage the day-to-day operation of the testing facility on its behalf.
3. Wave Hub is a £30 million construction project funded with £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and £13.5 million from the UK Government.
4. Wave Hub is a partner in the South West Marine Energy Park.
5. Follow Wave Hub on Twitter @wavehub, or visit www.wavehub.co.uk

Interviews

To interview:

Peter Kydd, please contact the Parsons Brinckerhoff press office (01483 528568 or 07770 832838 or email welshn@pbworld.com).

Johnny Gowdy and for more information about the South West Marine Energy Park please contact Regen SW on 01392 494 399 or email Katrina Jackson kjackson@regensw.co.uk

To interview Claire Gibson and for more information about Wave Hub please contact Jason Clark at DCA Public Relations 01208 77900, mobile 07980 834368, jason.clark@dca-pr.co.uk