Hampton Roads Alliance and Partners Hold Successful VIP Weekend for Offshore Wind Industry Leaders


(NORFOLK – September 13, 2021) The end of August and early September capped a busy and productive period for the Hampton Roads Alliance’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain Development Program. Over two weeks, the Alliance hosted a multi-day visit to the region from sixteen offshore wind companies, attended the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s International Partnering Forum in Richmond, VA, and gained three new members of the Virginia Offshore Wind Landing.

Doug Smith, Alliance President and CEO, said “Virginia has gained significant momentum in the last few weeks as the location of choice for industry participants who are looking to do business in a region that can support the growth of the industry over the long-term.”

This period of activity began in a fitting way, with the first in-person CVOW Friday Forum hosted by the Alliance and Dominion Energy. Typically held virtually, the Forums are a way to help educate Virginia businesses about the offshore wind industry and opportunities related to Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. The August edition of the Friday Forum gave over 100 attendees the opportunity to meet representatives from the Alliance, Dominion Energy, and Virginia’s Offshore Wind Partners, including Virginia Energy, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the Port of Virginia, the Virginia Maritime Association (VMA), the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, and the Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance.

August 20th also kicked off the Hampton Roads Offshore Wind VIP Welcome Weekend, presented by the Alliance, Virginia Energy, and 19 additional supporting sponsors. Attendees of the Welcome Weekend included three offshore wind developers and a cross section of companies that will be leading development of the offshore wind supply chain in the U.S. The Welcome Weekend consisted of several networking receptions, a harbor boat tour, panel discussions with local maritime and workforce development professionals, a supplier matchmaking session with Virginia businesses, and more. The highlight of the weekend were remarks made in support of the industry’s development in Virginia by Governor Ralph Northam, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Congresswoman Elaine Luria at an evening reception at the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in Downtown Norfolk.

The weekend was not only fun but highly productive, giving industry decision-makers the opportunity to see the region’s assets in person, connect with local partners, and learn more about Virginia’s vision as a leader in offshore wind. The weekend also served as a testament to the collaborative effort across all levels of government and between the public and private sector that has been the hallmark of Virginia’s effort to establish Hampton Roads and Virginia as the Mid-Atlantic hub of the offshore wind industry.

About the weekend, Anne Marie McShea, Ocean Winds’ Head of Offshore Wind Business Development: NY-Mid Atlantic, said, “I was impressed by your commitment to offshore wind and the level of collaboration across agencies and industries. Collaboration is not always easy to facilitate at the State, local and regional level but [the] VA Alliance seems to have already mastered this.” 

The VIP Weekend was planned to lead into the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s International Partnering Forum (IPF) — the largest offshore wind energy conference in North America, which was held this year in Richmond, VA from August 24th through the 26th.

The Alliance made the most of the conference by playing a key role in the planning, design, and staffing of the trade show’s signature tri-state booth – a collaboration between the States of Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. At the center of the show, the booth represented the three states’ SMART POWER agreement to work together to cooperatively promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy generation and its accompanying supply chain and workforce. Plenty of business was also conducted at IPF. Alliance staff and partners from VEDP and local economic development offices held meetings with over two dozen offshore wind companies. In addition, Matt Smith, Alliance Director of Offshore Wind, was featured on a panel designed to help companies better understand the industry and enter the supply chain. Alliance staff were also twice guests of Governor and First Lady Northam at the Executive Mansion at receptions for offshore wind industry representatives.

Early fruits of the labor that went into the VIP Weekend and IPF are three new members of the Virginia Offshore Wind Landing, and a group of newly gained industry ambassadors for the region’s potential as an offshore wind industry hub. The new members of the Landing are the companies Marmen, Metal Shark, and Smulders. Marmen is one of the largest wind tower manufacturers in North America. Metal Shark is a leading designer and builder of aluminum-hulled vessels, and a new entrant into the field of companies that will be supplying vessels to service U.S. offshore wind projects. Smulders is a manufacturer of offshore substations and foundations. Seajacks, Ventower Industries, and Xodus Group have also recently joined the Landing, bringing the number of members to fourteen, and making the Landing one of the most significant associations of offshore wind companies in the U.S.

For more information about these events or the Hampton Roads Offshore Wind Supply Chain Initiative, please contact Director of Offshore Wind, Matt Smith at msmith@757alliance.com.

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