Sunderland firm
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council and Trevor Hardcastle, managing director of Frontier Technical.
Rebecca Wayman

North East offshore wind farm provider receives international backing

A Sunderland offshore specialist is boosting its renewable energy offering having been approached by a US state.

Frontier Technical is leading a consortium of UK organisations made up of private sector businesses, public sector bodies and educational institutes to develop revolutionary technology with the potential to transform the global energy industry.

Founded by managing director Trevor Hardcastle, Frontier Technical installs offshore wind farms with its patented ‘MARLIN Modular Floating Platform’ in a supposedly environmentally-friendly manner.

The company is set to build on this success with its latest project - which has been commissioned by the State of Oregon.

Trevor said: “We were absolutely delighted to be approached by Colin Sears and the team at Business Oregon and to hear all about their plans to become a fully renewable state.

“We flew over last month to visit the team and spent five days attending events, visiting potential sites and discussing how best to manufacture and transport the platforms in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.

“We’ve agreed to show them around the North East - with visits to our testbed site at Port of Sunderland, our office at Washington Business Centre and the Offshore Renewable Catapult in Blyth as well as making introductions to our partners.

“The next step is to work with our partner companies to explore how our technology can be adapted to the US market and specifically the Pacific Ocean. We can’t wait to get to work.”

Business Oregon, the business investment arm of the state, caught wind of Trevor’s MARLIN invention after researching new, innovative ways to improve its carbon footprint.

The state has plans to become a fully renewable state over the next two decades and believes Frontier’s technology could help propel the state into the future.

Colin Sears, business recruitment officer at Business Oregon, added: “The State of Oregon has ambitious plans to become a fully renewable state and we believe the technology developed by Frontier Technical could [help] us achieve our goal.

“Frontier Technical has developed a very interesting product and we believe the Pacific Ocean would be a great location for the company to test its pilot projects ahead of them being rolled out across North America.

“Offshore wind is in the early stages in the US and Oregon hopes that - by working with industry pioneers like Frontier Technical - the state can position itself at the forefront of the USA’s renewable sector.”

Frontier Technical has been supported by Sunderland City Council since its launch in 2015. Additional support has also recently been secured through a grant from the ‘Great Exhibition of the North’ GX project.

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