Offshore wind leader Orsted stole the show at the Humber Renewable Awards, as it was named Large Company of the Year.
Efforts to engage the next generation were also saluted as the firm celebrated 10 years in Grimsby, as the high profile event also clocked up a decade on the Energy Estuary.
The Danish multinational behind the world’s largest wind farms – operated and maintained by a 550-strong team by the Royal Dock – was celebrated by peers for its incredible contribution to the region.
Arriving to build Westermost Rough, it acquired then added Race Bank before launching into the Hornsea zone – with the unprecedented scale bringing global attention to Grimsby.
With assembly at Green Port Hull and Siemens Gamesa blades that are built on the Humber Bank catching the natural resource across hundreds of square kilometres of near North Sea, the accolade was celebrated by all.
The business has become a fulcrum for the wider industry’s growth, as vessel operators and supply chain operators look to take advantage of the cluster’s creation.
And efforts to ensure the industry is open to all, working with key community partners, saw Renewables Education and Diversity and Inclusion awards collected too.
Thrive, the immersive training facility at Immingham – brought forward with ATT as a legacy project for the region after inducting thousands of workers on Hornsea Two offshore wind farm – also took the Excellence in Renewable Skills and Training accolade.
Patrick Harnett, vice president for projects with Orsted, said: “I have worked in this area for over 10 years, I have seen it go from strength to strength, I have seen the talent in the region transfering from one industry to another, and we see a great future here where we can keep growing through the years.”
Reflecting on the evening, he said: “It is the way forward. Each and every person in the room should be incredibly proud of what we are all doing; changing the world, making the UK and the world greener and making ourselves energy independent, and there is no better time for us to be doing it. We should all celebrate a big decade.
“It is so good to see healthy competition as it drives the renewables industry foward. It feels like Formula One, pushing engineering on, showing what can be done and sharing it. We are constantly raising the bar.”
Staying with offshore wind, and Melanie Onn, Renewable UK’s deputy chief executive, was named Humber Renewables Champion, recognising her unstinting work for the sector in her current role, and also in her term as Grimsby MP as the industry rapidly expanded in the constituency.
She is the renewables industry diversity champion, and is sponsor of the People and Skills area of work for the Offshore Wind Industry Council – the public-private partnership that ensured a sector deal.
Ms Onn said: “This is a massive surprise, I’m chuffed to bits. I’ve been in the sector now for two years, and it is an incredibly warm and exciting industry to be in. I’ve been welcomed with open arms, and I am constantly amazed at the level of innovation, passion and commitment that everybody has for making a difference, not only to the world, the country or the region they work in, but the people they work with every day.
“Going to work is a pleasure, and everyone in this room works so hard. The industry is flying, leading the way, and everyone should be incredibly proud.”
From top level policy to community, domestic and commercial application, awards covered all bases, with heat pumps, anaerobic digestion, electric vehicle charging and sustainable aviation fuel all recognised.
The latter saw a second major win in as many months for Phillips 66.
Before the awards were announced at the DoubleTree by Hilton Forest Pines Spa & Golf Resort, Andy Sykes, plant director for headline sponsor Siemens Gamesa addressed the audience, with Emma Jesson hosting on behalf of Reach Plc, the company behind Business Live, and the Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Hull news brands.
2022 Humber Renewables Awards winners:
Engaging the Community
Winner: Positive Activities Developments
The community interest company is behind Humberston Eco Conservation Centre, described as a unique off-grid community set in 15-acres.
A total of £450,000 has been invested in access, bore water supply, community cafe and biowaste unit, all powered by wind, solar and battery technology.
It was used as a case study at COP26 as an exemplar for humanitarian aid, while helping inspire young people in renewables and conservation.
Runners-up: EMS Ltd;Grimsby Community Energy Ltd
Humber Renewables Woman of the Year
Sponsored by RWE
Winner: Jordan Brompton, chief marketing officer, Myenergi
Described as a renewable pioneer, eco warrior and mumpreneur, she is half of the founding partnership of Myenergi, one of the fastest growing green tech companies, based in Stallingborough.
Committed to her roots, she has played a pivotal role in ensuring opportunities are developed in the area she is from, with 350 now employed, while her marketing and promotional abilities ensured vital early exposure when funding was tight.
Runners-up: Clare McVeigh, operations manager, Orsted; Tricia Percy, executive PA, Orsted
Sponsored by Vestas
Winner: Orsted Visitors Centre
Launched in September last year, it is described as opening the door to a hidden world of wind energy, showcasing the world-leading industry on the Humber.
Located at the East Coast Hub on Grimsby’s Royal Dock, models, activities and interactive displays are bolstered by views across the port entrance, with organised groups and schools welcomed to take in exactly what a career can offer, and what green energy can contribute.
Runners-up: Havelock Academy & Orsted WiME Raising Aspirations Programme;The Waterline Summit Sustainability Challenge
Renewable Energy Project
The Scunthorpe-based corrugated cardboard provider describes itself as one of the most environmentally efficient manufacturers in Europe.
Sitting behind that statement is a £7 million investment in anaerobic digestion. CorrBoard Bioenergy provides all the energy needs for the business, now an employer of 95 people.
Three quarters of the paper used is recycled, with computerised conveyors and palletisation ensuring the most effective and efficient operations.
Runners-up: Hornsea Two;Triton Knoll
Sponsored by ORE Catapult
Winner: Phillips 66 Humber Refinery
This year has seen it become the first UK producer of sustainable aviation fuel at commercial scale, securing a supply agreement with British Airways.
Half a million litres of sustainable waste feedstocks are handled daily, including cooking oil, following major investment.
The multi-year deal will enable BA to complete the equivalent of 700 transatlantic flights at zero emissions.
Small Business of the Year
Sponsored by Orsted
Winner: Pure Renewables
Now bringing a 15-year track record to commercial and domestic energy solutions across heat pump, solar and thermal technologies, the Hull business has achieved year-on-year growth and is on target to turn over £4.5 million this year.
It bases the success on establishing strong design and delivery while investing in a management structure, winning work on significant local authority social housing projects.
The robust financial position allowed it to take up further opportunities presented through the pandemic.
Runner-up: Cool Energy
Diversity and Inclusion
Winner: Havelock Academy & Orsted WiME Raising Aspirations Programme
A six month pilot programme was created to help raise aspirations and interest in manufacturing and engineering with female students.
It followed analysis of job applications by WiME, showing a marked difference based on deprived or affluent areas, with female applications to the sector as low as 10 per cent.
The offshore wind developer worked with the closest secondary school to its huge Grimsby base, sending in female staff to promote the opportunities the industry offered.
Runners-up: Orsted;RWE Triton Knoll
Excellence in Renewable Skills and Training
The multimedia immersive programme is delivered at a purpose-built centre at Immingham, providing one-day interactive experience designed to transform behaviours and attitudes to safety.
Delivered by Orsted in partnership with ATT, it is a £1.4 million legacy project as part of Hornsea Two offshore wind farm’s delivery, and has been used to induct all personnel during construction.
It has been opened up to all companies in the renewables, maritime and related sectors.
Runner-up: Smarter Energy NEL
Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by BAE Systems
Winner: Jacob Jones, Pure Renewables
Jointly nominated by his company and apprenticeship provider East Riding College – where he has picked up an outstanding contribution accolade, commitment, determination and focus to succeed has been identified.
From being reluctant to answer a phone, he now runs project assessments, hosting client calls confidently.
Adaptability, having had a challenging start to his career working from home was praised, while succession planning has seen the first apprentice in the department produce a guide for those who follow.
Runner-up: Jack Taylor, Orsted
Humber Renewables Medium / Large Business of the Year
Sponsored by Specialist Equipment Solutions
Humber Renewables Champion
Sponsored by Siemens Gamesa
Winner: Melanie Onn, deputy chief executive of Renewable UK