American multinational automotive manufacturing corporation General Motors (GM) has led a Series A investment round of up to USD 10 million into Wind Catching Systems, the Norwegian developer of multi-turbine floating offshore wind systems, to help fund the development and commercialization of the technology.
General Motors has made the investment through GM Ventures, the venture capital arm of General Motors investing in start-ups that share the company’s ”vision of a world of zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion.”
Wind Catching Systems and General Motors have also entered into a strategic agreement for collaboration covering technology development, project execution, offshore wind policy, and the advancement of sustainable technology applications.
”As GM continues to move towards an all-electric future, it’s critical that we simultaneously drive the transition of the grid to low-carbon energy sources,” said Kristen Siemen, GM’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
”GM Ventures’ investment in offshore wind with Wind Catching Systems represents an opportunity to accelerate innovative technology to market, advancing a cleaner, more reliable, and resilient energy future.”
In addition to GMV, current investors Ferd AS and North Energy ASA have participated in the investment round. New investors include the Bergesen family through Havfonn AS.
”WCS is proud to announce GM as a strategic collaborator and GMV as investor for the next stage of our technology development and commercialization journey, providing additional long-term and competent capital from a global leader in technology and transportation industrialization,” said Ole Heggheim, CEO of Wind Catching Systems.
”Together with Ferd, North Energy and Havfonn, we have a strong investor base to support our ambition to have a commercial installation by 2027. The Wind Catching technology has significant competitive benefits compared to conventional floating offshore wind technologies and we see great opportunities for deployment at the Utsira site in Norway and at other locations worldwide.”
The target for Wind Catching Systems is to enable offshore wind operators and developers to produce electricity at a cost that competes with other energy sources, without subsidies.
The company is currently developing floating multi-turbine technology. The technology is expected to cut acreage use by more than 80 per cent and increase efficiency significantly in comparison to conventional floating offshore wind farms.
Wind Catching Systems’ technology is projected to have a structural design life of 50 years, should cost substantially less to maintain than conventional floating offshore wind solutions, and will aim to solve sustainability issues related to recycling, marine resources and CO2 emissions from installation and maintenance.
One Wind Catching unit is expected to have the same annual production as five conventional 15 MW offshore wind turbines.
GM and WCS are committed to looking for areas of collaboration, including engineering and design processes and sustainable sourcing, the developer said.
”We are pleased to see that Wind Catching Systems has attracted such high-quality investors as GM Ventures and Havfonn. We look forward to further developing the company towards worldwide commercialization,” said Erik Bjørstad, member of the Board of Directors and Investment Director at Ferd.
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