Renewable energy company 2-B Energy has joined forces with Scottish Enterprise (SE) to deliver cutting-edge offshore wind technology with the potential to reduce costs by up to 45%, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.
The organisations will work together to support commercialisation of 2-B’s unique two-bladed offshore turbine concept through development of offshore test and demonstration facilities in Scotland – potentially by the end of 2014.
Recognised as potentially game-changing technology, the 2-B concept bucks the trend toward the more conventional three-bladed horizontal axis onshore wind technology currently being deployed offshore. Its revolutionary design significantly reduces the number of components required throughout the lifetime of the turbine, which should result in significantly lower operation and maintenance costs.
The 2-B wind plant size harmonizes well with the state of the art size of 6 MW, and a rotor diameter of 140 metres, but distinguishes itself from other turbines with its two bladed rotor on a full lattice structure that goes all the way down to the seabed.
The Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC), based in Aberdeen, has supported 2-B’s application for European funding, through the EU Framework Programme 7, for development of the company’s technology and offshore demonstrator in Scotland.
This project is targeted for development at the Scottish Enterprise-owned Fife Energy Park in Methil where 2-B Energy has stepped up its ambitions and focus has shifted from a single-near shore unit to two units offshore in a broader project. The project will be part of a test and demonstration hub of activity which will accommodate a range of potential interests in the Scottish offshore wind sector.
First Minister Alex Salmond, said: “2-B Energy is developing an innovative and exciting offshore wind turbine which has great potential to reduce costs for clean energy generators across Europe. I’m delighted that the Scottish European Green Energy Centre has been able to support their plans and that the company has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Scottish Enterprise.
“This strategic agreement with our enterprise agency is another important development for Scotland’s burgeoning offshore renewables industry, which is bringing jobs and investment to communities across the country. 2-B Energy’s decision to develop its technology here underlines the increasing international recognition that Scotland offer’s the optimum business and natural environment for clean-tech developers to pursue their ambitions.”
Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy, held further discussions on the project with SE last week during a visit to Scotland, where he also met the First Minister.
Mr Jakobsson said: “We will continue to work closely with Scottish Enterprise to implement our development strategy for the commercialisation of our innovative new offshore wind technology. We have reached an exciting point in the development of our company and technology and we could envision that this partnership and the support from SEGEC will help open up further opportunities for growth options of our business in Scotland.”
Adrian Gillespie, director of energy and low carbon technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We recognise the significant potential 2-B Energy holds for the next generation of offshore wind technology. We have joined forces with the company to support the long term development of its technology and to reach a key step of technology evolution in Scotland. 2-B’s exciting approach has the potential to play an important part in Scotland’s future renewables wind development and create a possible step-change in future reduction of power generation cost.
“We are working closely with the company and our network of partners to look at potential funding models that will help expedite the final stages of demonstration and commercialisation for this exciting technology.”
Chris Bronsdon, CEO of SEGEC said: “Over the last year the Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) has been working closely with 2-B Energy in order to structure and deliver the funding application for a multi-million Euro flagship demonstration project for this technology under the EU Framework Programme 7 (FP7).
“The technology approach maximises the potential for cost reduction from the outset, whilst minimising technology risk through using existing, proven components that have already been operating and financed in the market for several years. The project will demonstrate the significant improvements in operations and maintenance that can be achieved and will confirm the position of the technology within the global offshore wind supply base.
“The support from SEGEC has helped 2-B Energy confirm the siting of the demonstration project in Scotland and given direct access into significant EU support. This latest development with Scottish Enterprise is a very strong step forward as it will enable the company to tie into the strong supply chain and research base that already exists in Scotland and open up access to additional funding opportunities.”
Offshore WIND staff, April 05, 2012; Image: scottish-enterprise