An alliance between two leading innovators in offshore wind power has been forged to help prove new technology at one of the world’s most cutting edge green energy projects.
The move will strengthen the UK supply chain and underpin a competitive offshore wind industry. Vattenfall, the Swedish energy group, and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy, will collaborate to give innovators the opportunity to test and demonstrate new technology in real-world operating conditions at Vattenfall’s pioneering European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), off Aberdeen.
Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s Business Area Wind, said: “Vattenfall has already delivered innovation-driven cost reduction in offshore wind with the deployment of game changing technology at the EOWDC, supported by the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. Now we want to continue that pioneering spirit, in collaboration with ORE Catapult, by demonstrating the potential of UK innovators’ ideas to reduce costs and improve safety at an operating wind farm. We do that, and we get to freedom from fossil fuel faster.”
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, added: “The collaboration with Vattenfall on EOWDC provides a unique opportunity for UK innovators to work with ORE Catapult to bring new technologies to market through testing in a controlled real-world environment.
“To meet the sector’s ambitious targets, innovation is going to be a key enabler. Facilitating technology demonstration opportunities is the next logical step for innovators in the de-risking process, going from the lab to testing, using facilities such as at the Catapult’s Levenmouth and Blyth sites, or in the offshore operational environment at EOWDC.”
Jean Morrison, chair of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, said: “From the beginning, we always envisioned the EOWDC as a pioneering project that would help drive down the costs of offshore wind and make it a competitive energy resource. The North-east of Scotland is emerging as an international centre of offshore wind innovation and this partnership between Vattenfall and ORE Catapult provides an exciting opportunity for the industry to learn and take this knowledge forward to future projects.”
Vattenfall has agreed to collaborate with the Catapult on innovation deployment at the EOWDC. The Catapult will manage engagement with innovators in the offshore wind supply chain and educational institutions to promote test and demonstration opportunities at the EOWDC, as well as supporting Vattenfall’s selection process and the review and communication of results.
The EOWDC, supported by the EU with a €40mn grant, is an offshore wind test and demonstration facility. It recently completed the installation of 11 innovative wind turbines and foundations. It will be fully operational later this summer.