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Case Study

Ben Smith – UEA student on placement with ScottishPower Renewables

New career opportunities on the horizon

Living and studying in Norwich, Ben Smith is well aware of the expanding offshore wind industry on the East Anglian coast, including the East Anglia ONE windfarm being developed by ScottishPower Renewables.

The 20-year-old energy engineering student, at the University of East Anglia (UEA), is part of a new generation pursuing careers in the booming offshore renewable energy sector.

He explained: “During my time at university many exciting plans have been put forward for the future of the offshore wind energy industry in East Anglia, all of which bring a range of career opportunities.”

Strong links exist between UEA and the energy industry and through these relationships Ben was introduced to Victoria Sinclair, supply chain strategy manager at ScottishPower Renewables. From this meeting, Ben secured a year’s work placement, as a Junior Interface Engineer, with the world leading clean energy provider.

Ben added: “It has been fantastic working alongside ScottishPower Renewables’ engineering teams on projects which bring my university work to life. The year will me see involved with projects concentrating on radar monitoring, strategic positioning and wind turbine installation.”

Growing up, Ben was surrounded by engineering with two of his uncles pursuing careers as civil engineers and his grandfather working as an electrical engineer. This family association is set to continue with Ben’s sister Ruby inspired by his experiences and studies, also starting the BEng Energy Engineering course at UEA.

He explained: “Ruby has heard me speak about my studies and career plans which have inspired her to take a similar path to me.

“For me, it is a profession that provides a wealth of opportunities suited to an array of skillsets. Courtesy of my university studies, and work experience with ScottishPower Renewables, I feel well prepared to take advantage of careers developing in the offshore wind energy industry.”

About East Anglia ONE:

East Anglia ONE will see 102 wind turbines installed in the southern North Sea, approximately 30 miles off the coast. The overall investment will be in the region of £2.5 billion, and the project is planned to meet the annual electricity demands of the equivalent of almost 600,000 homes.

East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm project will include:

  • Offshore wind turbines and foundations (102 wind turbines to provide an installed capacity of 714 megawatts).
  • An offshore substation to collect the electricity from the turbines and transform it to a form suitable for transfer to shore.
  • Two offshore export cables, each around 85 km in length, to transfer the electricity to shore.
  • A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables.
  • Six onshore underground cables, each of around 37 km in length, to transfer the electricity from landfall to an onshore converter station.
  • An onshore substation adjacent to the existing substation at Bramford, Suffolk, to connect the offshore windfarm to the National Grid.

*Based on the following calculation: 714 MW (installed capacity) x 0.367 “offshore wind” average load factor (Digest of UK Energy Statistics) x 8,760 hours (hours per year)/3,900kwh (average domestic annual consumption) = 588,578 homes powered equivalent.

About ScottishPower Renewables

ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola, a world leader in clean energy with an installed capacity of over 28,000MW, and the leading wind energy producer worldwide.

Responsible for progressing Iberdrola’s onshore wind and marine energy projects in the UK, ScottishPower Renewables also manages the development, construction and operation of offshore windfarms throughout the world and currently has 40 operational windfarm sites producing over 2,000 MW.