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OWIC announces new Co-Chair and Vice Chair to help the UK deliver its ambitions for offshore wind power

5 Apr 2023

The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has appointed a new Co-Chair and Vice-Chair to help deliver ambitious UK offshore wind targets, as Danielle Lane steps down at the end of her two-year term. Richard Sandford, bp’s Vice President of Offshore Wind UK, replaces Danielle Lane as Co-Chair. Sophie Banham, Offtake Director for Dogger Bank D Wind Farm, takes on the new role of Vice-Chair.

Richard and Sophie have a combined experience of around thirty years in offshore wind and haveworked extensively with the council for several years.The UK is a world leader in offshore wind with 13.66 gigawatts of capacity installed –second only to China. The Government has set the industry a target of installing 50GW in UK waters by 2030.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, said:

“Offshore wind is vital to our plans to Power Up Britain, from Britain. Although the UK is already home to the four largest offshore wind farms, we want to go further, faster.“That's why I welcome the appointment of both Richard and Sophie as the new industry chairs and look forward to working with them closely to drive the UK offshore wind industry to even greater heights.“Their energy and leadership at OWIC gives me confidence that we can cement our position as a world leader in reducing emissions and growing the UK supply chain."

Danielle Lane, RWE’s Director of Offshore Development UK and Ireland, said:

“It’s been an honour and privilege to have served as Co-Chair for the last couple of years. I’m grateful for the support and dedication I’ve received from colleagues across the offshore wind sector, all working tirelessly to change the UK’s power system. Working closely with Government, we have secured vital new clean energy capacity for the UK at a time when boosting Britain’s energy security has never been more important. I have no doubt this shared mission will continue going forwards.

“I’m very pleased to be handing over to Richard as I know he will make a huge success of his new role, building on the work we have all done so far in offshore wind to create thousands of new jobs, attract billions in private investment, and become one of the UK’s cheapest sources of new power, cutting bills for consumers.”


bp’s VP of Offshore Wind UK, Richard Sandford, who has worked in the offshore wind industry for the past fifteen years, said:

“I’d like to thank Danielle for her fantastic leadership. Her energy, insight and professionalism are inspirational qualities, as everyone who works with her in this dynamic sector is aware. Although she’s a hard act to follow, I’m delighted to be appointed Co-Chair of OWIC at a critical point for offshore wind in the UK. Among our key priorities will be to maximise the UK-wide opportunities this industry offers as we build up supply chains around the country. Harnessing these opportunities will not come without major challenges – in my new role, I will continue working constructively with offshore wind organisations and Government, ensuring the sector has the tools it needs to grow and flourish.” 


Sophie Banham, who has worked in the offshore wind industry since 2010 and is currently Equinor’s Offtake Director for Dogger Bank D Wind Farm, said:

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to serve as Vice-Chair of OWIC. It comes at an exciting but challenging time: industry is determined to maximise the new offshore wind capacity we can deliver now and in the crucial years ahead. Throughout my career, I’ve witnessed first-hand the challenges and rewards of planning, building and operating offshore wind farms in British waters – which are the envy of the world. I’m determined to help retain the UK’s position as a global offshore wind leader – a position we cannot afford to take for granted.”



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About OWIC:

The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), a senior Government and industry forum, was established in May 2013 to drive the development of the world-leading offshore wind sector in the UK. It is comprised of members drawn from the leading UK and global firms in the offshore wind industry, including developers and original equipment manufacturers.

Richard Sandford:

Richard is a veteran of the energy sector with over 35 years of experience, including the last 15 years dedicated to offshore wind. He currently leads bp's offshore wind business in the UK, with a previous role at RWE Renewables as the Director of Offshore Development in Europe.


He will Co-Chair alongside the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart.


Sophie Banham:

Sophie has over 14 years’ experience in offshore wind, and has worked on wind projects with a number of leading organisations – including Statkraft, Ørsted and now Equinor. She has been a key part of the industry’s flagship Offshore Wind Growth Partnership since its inception, which invests in innovative Companies across the UK’s offshore wind supply chain. 

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