Floating turbine R&D funds allocated

An allocation of public and private research funding has boosted the development of floating offshore wind turbines.

Eleven research and development projects have been chosen to share in a pot of £61m – £31m from government and £30m of industry funding, as part of the floating offshore wind demonstration programme.

The cash will go to R&D in floating offshore wind with projects across the United Kingdom set to receive funding that will accelerate the deployment of turbines in seas around the UK. Research will focus on areas such as how turbines are moored to the seabed, undersea cabling and developing foundation solutions.

Greg Hands Energy minister said: “We are already a world leader in offshore wind, and floating technology is key to unlocking the full potential of the seas around Britain. These innovative projects will help us to expand renewable energy further and faster across the UK and help to reduce our exposure volatile global gas prices”.

One project receiving £9.6m is a collaborative scheme with bases in Edinburgh, Belfast, London and Doncaster, developing and demonstating new technologies for mooring floating turbines to the seabed, cable protection, a floating turbine base design and an advanced digital monitoring system.

A further project with bases in Cambridge, Feltham, Aberedeen and Blyth, will get £10m for bringing forward a compact floating turbine foundation and anchors that could enable a 2MW, or larger turbine to be demonstrated in UK waters.

Floating offshore wind demonstation programmes funding recipients:-

  • JDR Cables (Hartlepool and the Offshpore Renewable Energy Catapult (Blyth): £1.606.711 for developing and testing electric cabling systems.
  • Buoyant Production Technologies (Farnham) and the University of Southamptyon: £238,724 to demonstate that a patented design can be used for supporting substation equipment connecting floating wind farms to the energy grid.
  • AWC Technology (Aberdeen): £760,874 to take forward development of an articulated wind turbine column designed to reduce construction, installation and maintenance costs.
  • Reflex Marine (Aberdeen) the University of Exeter, Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group (Doncaster) and Wood Thilsted Partners (Godalming): £882,283 for development of a novel anchoring system that will secure floating turbine-cables to the seabed at a fraction of the weight of some existing anchors.
  • London Marine Consultants and the University of Plymouth: £264,924 to bring to market a mooring syem which will simplify the initial installation of floating turbines and enable simple disconnection when maintenance is required.
  • Copenhagen Offshore Partners (Edinburgh), SSE Renewables (Belfast), Maersk Supply Service (London) and Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group (Doncaster): £9,656,980 to develop and demonstrate new mooring system technologies, cable protection, floating turbine base design and an advanced digital monitoring system
  • Marine Power Systems (Swansea): £3,466,083 to develop a floating foundation with a small fooprint and integrated wave energy generator to improve powerquality.
  • Cerulean Winds (Guildford): £825,692 for developing an integrated system between the mooring, floating foundation and wind turbine for deployment at an offshore oil and gas facility in the North Sea or West of Shetland.
  • SenseWind (Cambridge), Geodis FF (Feltham, Xodus Group (Aberdeen) and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (Blyth): £10,000,000 for a project combining a compact floating foundation with a novel anchoring system attaching it to the seabed and advanced monitoring technology that allows for maintenance to be planned and performed offshore, saving oncosts of towing back to shore. A 2MW or larger turbine will be demonstated in UK waters.
  • Aker Solutions (London) : £690,454 for applying cable manufacturing techniques that simplify and cut the cost of offshore installation and developing a subsea substation design connecing floating wind farms to the energy grid.
  • Trivan Ltd (Newquay) London Marine Consultants, Keynvormorlift (Newquay) and Ledwood (Pembroke Dock): £3,268,058 for developing a trimaran mounting system for wind turbines.