Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Vattenfall have launched a GBP 1.5 million programme for UK companies to test and demonstrate O&M technologies at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project.
The three-year programme is seeking technologies that solve current O&M challenges in areas such as blade repair and leading-edge erosion, robotics and autonomous systems and remote array cable monitoring and inspection.
Chosen companies will be able to demonstrate their technologies in real-world conditions at EOWDC offshore Aberdeen, potentially securing a route to market for their innovations, ORE Catapult said.
“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," said Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director.
“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 programme follows the agreement between Vattenfall and ORE Catapult from June last year, to support innovation deployment at EOWDC.
EOWDC, also known as Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, comprises nine MHI Vestas 8.4MW turbines and two MHI Vestas turbines with a record-breaking capacity of 8.8MW.
The 93.2MW project, inaugurated in September 2018, is being used as a testbed for new technologies such as 66kV subsea cables and suction bucket jacket foundations, and is part of a scientific research effort to better understand the environmental impacts of offshore wind.