Ten Basque companies go on a mission to the United States to learn about perspectives and opportunities within their offshore wind power market

Submitted by Ander González on 14 May 2019

During the mission that was organised together with Basque Trade & Investment, the participants were able to gain knowledge on the reality and have a perspective of the US offshore wind power thanks to the meetings held with the key actors in the US ,such as Avangrid or US Wind promoters, who are responsible for the two first wind farms that will start operating.

Under the Wind Energy Basque Country brand, the Basque Energy Cluster organised a business mission to the United States together with Basque Trade & Investment which included the participation of ten leading companies in the Basque wind-power sector:DITRELERREKAEUSKABEAIBERMÁTICAIDOMNAUTILUSNAVACELORMAZABAL,SAITEC OFFSHORE and ZIV. Additionally, the mission was accompanied at all times by the Deputy Minister of Industry, Javier Zarraonandia, the General Manager of EVE, Iñigo Ansola, and the Director of Basque Trade & Investment, Ainhoa Ondarzabal.

The week started in Boston with a meeting with the AVANGRID-IBERDROLA team that was responsible for the development of the Vineyard Wind farm, led by Alejandro de Hoz, Vice-President of US Offshore Wind. After this, the participants got to know the perspectives in this field of SIEMENS GAMESA, represented by Joergen Scheel, Vice-President of Offshore at the Basque Multinational.

On Tuesday, the session focused on learning about the ecosystem in Massachusetts, the state currently with the largest portfolio of projects, thanks to a meeting with MASSCEC, the institution responsible for the development of the offshore wind sector in the region, which took place at the blade testing facilities of the Wind Technology Testing Center. In the afternoon, the delegation visited the Port of New Bedford, which currently is investing 100 million USD to adapt its facilities to the sector's needs.

In Washington, on Wednesday, the mission had the chance to contact the US BUSINESS NETWORK FOR OFFSHORE WIND, the main North American value chain network for offshore wind power, and they also visited the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is responsible for the designation of the leasing to new offshore wind farms. In the afternoon, the delegation visited the US WIND offices in Baltimore, in a meeting with Francesco Salvatore Onorio, responsible for the ongoing project, with a capacity of 500 MW.

Last of all, on Thursday, the companies shared the opportunities that they had identified and their doubts in terms of how to tackle the US market together with Arantxa Tapia, Basque Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures. In the afternoon they participated at the BASQUE BUSINESS FORUM, together with representatives of other sectors of interest for the Basque Country and the United States.

At the end of the mission, the participants expressed their satisfaction with the activities that they carried out. The mission has also served to strengthen the position of the Basque companies within a budding market with a great potential, as is the case of the offshore wind power industry in the United States, taking a new step within the range of activities that have been planned by the Basque Energy Cluster to help its members access this opportunity.

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