WSP appoints new head of offshore wind

WSP has appointed Nicola Riley, pictured, as its new head of offshore wind.

Engineering and environmental professional services consultancy WSP has appointed Nicola Riley as its new head of offshore wind.

With more than 20 years’ experience in offshore wind development and asset management, Riley’s appointment will drive WSP’s Energy business to expand its existing offshore wind capability. 

As part of its net zero strategy, the UK government has set out an ambition to deliver up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, including up to 5GW of innovative floating wind. 

Riley will focus on building upon WSP’s multi-disciplinary offshore wind capabilities to enable clients to support the government in achieving this ambition. This will include working with clients to leverage adjacent and emerging technologies, including High Voltage DC connectivity, hydrogen and energy storage to unlock the potential of offshore wind.  

Joining from John Laing, Riley was most recently asset director for energy where she managed wind energy projects across Europe, including the Nordergründe Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea. 

Prior to that, she was head of renewables at Fichtner Consulting Engineers, responsible for the growth of its UK wind and renewables business.

Based in Manchester, Riley will apply a multi-disciplinary approach alongside environmental, engineering and advisory specialists to develop and deliver a range of offshore wind projects. 

She said: “Transitioning away from fossil fuels and moving towards low cost, reliable renewable energy sources is a vital element of the UK's net zero ambitions. Large scale and dependable offshore wind deployment offers the UK a real opportunity to push forward its energy transition, creating jobs and developing skills within communities in the process.

“Significant engineering skills and technical expertise will be required to deliver this so I’m excited to be joining WSP to meet these challenges.” 

Fiachra Ó Cléirigh, head of energy at WSP, said: “I'm delighted to welcome Nicola to WSP and into our energy business. We’re currently on an exciting trajectory of growth and Nicola’s appointment aligns with the firm’s three-year plan to develop capabilities in a range of strategically important sectors. 

“Transitioning how we generate our energy from a carbon intensive base to one consisting predominantly of renewable sources is vital should the UK meet its 2050 net zero targets, and I'm delighted to have Nicola on board to support our clients to decarbonise their operations and the energy sector more broadly.”

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