Equinor is engaging with the UK offshore wind supply chain to support the development of innovative, technology-led solutions, which can shape the future of the industry post-2025.
As part of this project, Equinor has partnered with UK business development organisation NOF Energy, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the North East of England’s offshore wind cluster, Energi Coast, to host its first Innovation Day to support the development of Operations & Maintenance (O&M) concepts of the future.
Utilising the expertise and benefiting from the track record of innovation from within the UK supply chain, the developer is contributing by setting the vision, objectives and targets, while giving potential supplier access to its requirements, specifically around offshore wind projects including Scira, Dudgeon and Dogger Bank.
This approach, which is encouraging early-collaboration between developer and suppliers, is said to enable fresh thinking within the industry to take the first steps towards devising new solutions that will meet evolving, future requirements of the sector, particularly in the field of O&M.
”Equinor believe in close collaboration with the supply chain to develop innovative solutions for the wind industry,” Beate Myking, Senior Vice President for Operations in New Energy Solutions at Equinor, said.
”With several upcoming wind projects in the portfolio, with Dogger Bank as the most important one, we are committed to engage with the whole renewables supply chain, research institutes and universities in an effort to identify new solutions. The Innovation Day identified a lot of interesting ideas that can be further explored.”
The initiative also supports the ambitions of the proposed Sector Deal for the UK offshore wind industry, which will support the development of transformative solutions that can be exported globally by British companies.
More than 70 companies from the UK supply chain, including a large cluster from North East England, attended the event, which was held at the Port of Blyth, Northumberland.
At the event, Equinor engaged with businesses from throughout the renewables supply chain, research institutes and universities in an effort to identify new innovative solutions to maximise project value.
The Innovation Day was built around a series of breakout sessions, which focused on key themes including the use of robotics and autonomous systems and the development and application of Digital Twins.
A third breakout session looked at predictive maintenance through condition monitoring, predictive analytics and early detection of failure, with the final session focused on integration with the market to maximise the value of every kWh.
Halfdan Brustad, Vice-President Renewables at Equinor said: “As part of the Sector Deal with the Offshore Wind Industry Council, of which I am Equinor’s member, we have initiated this event to support the development of the supply chain cluster. It is our contribution to reach out to UK companies as part of the initiative to establish the cluster as a strong, export-led innovative supply chain. I think this event was a good start in achieving this ambition.”