A day in the life of Miriam Noonan
Miriam is Commercial Manager at Floventis. A graduate of Imperial College London with a 2:1 MEng (Hons) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, she first joined the offshore wind industry in 2016 having previously worked for BP. She tells us about her career path to date and her role working on the development of Llŷr 1 and 2.
What does your role involve?
I joined the team in 2021 as commercial manager responsible for the creation and ongoing development of business cases for offshore wind projects including Llŷr 1&2 in the Celtic Sea. I produce accurate, quantitative evidence to support decision making during the development phase of our projects, such as turbine selection and port strategies, so that Floventis can minimise project costs and manage commercial risks.
What experience did you have before joining the business?
I worked for ORE Catapult, an offshore renewables innovation centre, for five years before joining Cierco. During this time, I supported a range of organisations, from small start-ups to large original equipment manufacturers to accelerate the adoption of new technologies in the industry and was involved in a range of cost-focused industry programmes. For example, I led the offshore wind work stream for IEA Wind Task 26 (Cost of wind energy) before becoming a senior financial analyst in 2019 responsible for leading wave and tidal sector engagement with senior industry and policy stakeholders. I was promoted again in 2020 to analysis and insights manager, leading projects related to offshore renewables cost reduction, UK supply chain and economic value and energy policy. This included a number of studies for the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence.
Tell us about your achievements to date
I am proud of several industry policy reports that I have been involved in. I was lead author on the milestone report “Floating Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Pathways to Subsidy Free” which outlined a number of Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) cost reduction pathways to subsidy free levels. Based on GIS mapping, we identified potential zones for FOW development and established deployment profiles that meet, and exceed, targets for Net Zero.
I then developed a bottom-up cost model to estimate a site-specific cost based on technical and environmental parameters and overlaid a component-specific learning rate made up of three individual factors, based either on UK only or global deployment: technology innovation, supply chain competition and economies of scale. The subsequent cost reduction profiles, reviewed and approved by members of the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence, were adopted as representative industry forecasts, with several policy recommendations implemented as a result including- a Celtic Sea leasing round and higher short to medium term to deployment targets set by the government to provide certainty to the market.
What are the challenges ahead?
FOW projects are under immense pressure to both reduce costs and simultaneously create local jobs and investment in the UK economy – two objectives at odds with each other. I am producing modelling that will enable the team to assess the most efficient use of budget to maximise local content with the minimum incremental cost to the project. It’s important because we want to make sure that our projects deliver economic and environmental value for the region, but also reduce power prices.
What advice do you have for others wanting to enter the industry?
Offshore wind is an exciting industry to work in. Every project is pushing boundaries and breaking records. From apprenticeships through to senior leadership roles, there is an array of opportunity – engineers, scientists and project managers are just some of the jobs available for those starting out or transferring from other sectors. Come and talk to us – we’re always happy to chat with those interested in floating offshore wind.