UK innovators are offered an opportunity for testing and demonstrating products and services for the offshore wind market on one of the world’s most cutting-edge fossil-free energy projects.
The jointly funded, three-year agreement between Vattenfall and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy, will give innovators in the offshore wind supply chain the opportunity to test and demonstrate technologies in real-world conditions at Vattenfall’s pioneering £300 million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), off Aberdeen in Scotland.
The new £1.5 million programme is seeking innovators to bring forward technologies to solve some of the current operations and maintenance challenges facing the industry in areas such as blade repair and leading-edge erosion, robotics and autonomous systems and remote array cable monitoring and inspection. If successful, companies chosen will be able to demonstrate their technologies at the EOWDC, potentially securing a route to market for their innovations.
The programme deepens the collaboration announced between Vattenfall and ORE Catapult in June 2018, to support innovation deployment at the EOWDC.
Danielle Lane, Vattenfall’s UK Country Manager, said: “It’s with innovation – proved in the stormy seas off the Aberdeenshire coast – that the offshore wind industry will make a crucial contribution to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This £1.5 million programme agreed between Vattenfall and ORE Catapult makes broader thinking real by giving talented innovators from across the UK the chance to test the potential of their creations in the best possible environment - the real world. And innovation is more easily made commercial in a positive policy framework. That’s why the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, agreed between the industry and the UK government, is so important to securing the long-term potential of the innovation we will see tested at the EOWDC.”
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, added: “This new £1.5 million programme with Vattenfall and the EOWDC provides a unique opportunity for UK innovators to work with ORE Catapult and Vattenfall to bring new technologies to market through testing in a controlled real-world environment.
“Accessing real-world opportunities to test, demonstrate and validate their technologies is often a real barrier to commercialisation for small innovators, and therefore this investment should give UK companies a crucial edge in developing technology and services for the new wave of offshore wind developments and help the UK government to meet its target of generating at least a third of the UK’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030.”
The £300 million, 93.2MW EOWDC is an offshore wind test and demonstration facility that is home to 11 of the world’s most powerful and innovative wind turbines. Annually it will prevent on average 134,000 tonnes of CO2 every year and meet the power needs of 80,000 UK households, 70% of the City of Aberdeen.