Where land meets sea, Northsea WindHub brings together people and initiatives in the wind energy sector. The center of all sustainable activity in and around the wind sector in the Northern Netherlands is the versatile Northsea WindHub building. Here, Northsea WindHub links three disciplines that will only form a genuinely strong concept if they are combined: Operations and Maintenance, Innovation and Testing, and Education and Training. An active collaboration among major wind energy projects, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), educational institutions, science, and practical experience power the entire North — and that’s what it’s all about at Northsea WindHub.
Initiator Derk Battjes noticed in 2019 that, if we’re not careful, we’ll risk missing opportunities in the Northern Netherlands. “In the North, we must collaborate and seize with both hands the opportunities that present themselves. Offshore wind energy offers an enormous opportunity. If we want, we can take action now to achieve a faster energy transition and thereby strengthen the North. Think about economic growth, employment and quality of life.”
With an online community in which companies, institutions, and people can connect, Northsea WindHub also plays a connective role in a digital component of this cross-fertilization. Here we share not only introductory information about the offshore wind industry and news about global and regional developments within the sector, but all information about employment in the North and projects in the wind energy sector is also available. Consequently, Northsea WindHub forms a physical as well as a digital meeting point that makes the North stronger. It has already become evident in the past year that collaborative strength develops by making connections.
NORTHSEA WINDHUB BUILDING
one hub, three wings
The Northsea WindHub building connects various worlds within the offshore wind energy sector. On the one hand, there is the rough hard side where turbines are constructed and installed with specialized materials and at great heights. On the other hand, a significant role is played by the sustainable developments that propel the energy transition. These worlds are combined in the Northsea WindHub building, whose shape is based on a hydrogen molecule. Even the Northsea WindHub building is a symbol of the energy transition’s promise.
Operations & Maintenance
Northsea WindHub offers space for approximately thirty companies, educational institutions and other parties who are involved with the wind energy sector. They have their offices there and use the site and building as a base for teams going out to sea for the construction and maintenance of wind farms. In addition to these activities, the companies naturally play a significant role in the supply chain for the Eemshaven seaport.
For international companies, the supply of local business that can react quickly is of great value. Local companies position themselves at Northsea WindHub as work placement companies. Northsea WindHub offers space to seconders and employment agencies serving the wind energy sector in order to link job seekers with those offering jobs in this growing market.
Innovations & Testing
In the midst of all the daily activity, new innovations are being developed and tested. The technologies applied in a wind turbine are high-end and very diverse. What’s more, the pace of their development is high and it’s always a challenge to keep up with them.
The direct lines between students, researchers and SMEs ensures that a rich cross-fertilization can take place. This produces internship and work placement opportunities within all the disciplines in this broad field of work. Leading educational and knowledge institutions conduct research and give lectures where the real work in the offshore wind sector takes place. This enables collaboration to lead to a rapid development of positive energy.
Education & Training
Northsea WindHub offers the only specialized training location in the Northern Netherlands — at the base for the construction of the world’s largest offshore wind turbine farm. The certified training institutes at Northsea WindHub make sure that operational personnel work safely, both onshore and off. Specific certificates are essential for the operators to be able to work safely at sea and at heights.
The Northsea WindHub site provides extensive training facilities for various types of safety training: dry training on land and “wet” training on water, as well as a wide variety of technical training programs and courses. These are offered by the SMEs and the educational and knowledge institutions, and both also make use of them.