EOWDC Opens Doors to Offshore Wind Innovators

Swedish energy group Vattenfall and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have formed an alliance to allow offshore wind innovators the opportunity to test and demonstrate new technology in real-world operating conditions at Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off Aberdeen.

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.

“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,'' Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s Business Area Wind, said.

''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.”

The 93.2MW EOWDC, supported by the EU with a EUR 40 million grant, is an offshore wind test and demonstration facility. It recently completed the installation of two MHI Vestas 8.8MW and nine MHI Vestas 8.4MW wind turbines and eleven suction bucket jacket foundations. It will be fully operational later this summer.

“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,'' Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, said.

“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.”

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