UK technology innovation and research centre, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, has announced a £920,000 programme which has been designed to help Scottish companies develop technology and services for the offshore wind industry. The cost of the programme is shared equally between the Scottish government and ORE Catapult.
Platform for research
The programme is built around ORE Catapult's 7-MW Levenmouth demonstration turbine in Fife, Scotland which is giving UK businesses an opportunity to test their designs. According to ORE Catapult, the new programme will increase access for these businesses.
ORE Catapult will also fund the creation of a lidar test facility and help establish a virtual wind farm. The wind farm will be created using operational data from the Levenmouth turbine, delivering a unique platform for the dissemination of research, data and findings to Scotland’s industry and academic research communities. The platform will be further developed by adding new research and datasets to improve knowledge around offshore wind farm operations, says ORE Catapult.
Offshore wind is integral to Scotland’s energy future
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said that this investment highlights the Scottish Government’s commitment to maximising the huge potential of offshore wind as a sustainable energy source.
He added: “The £460k funding represents excellent value, as it goes to three projects that are key to ORE Catapult’s plans to bolster wind technology development in Scotland. This, of course, builds on our recent investment for the Offshore Wind Accelerator programme, and last years’ grant support for ORE Catapult. It’s becoming increasingly clear that offshore wind is integral to Scotland’s sustainable energy future – as well as helping us to achieve our ambitious climate change targets.”
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director said that the Levenmouth demonstration turbine offers an unrivalled opportunity to position Scotland and the UK at the heart of European wind research.
Hill adds: “Providing a unique testing environment for new technologies, and using real-world data from the operation of the turbine, will help us develop a deeper understanding of the operations and maintenance aspects of offshore wind turbines. This will significantly help to develop the skills and experience that is critical to the future growth of the industry and its continuing efforts to reduce costs.”
The programme is supported by industry, ORE Catapult said. Wood Group, for example, is particularly interested in lidar verification as the uptake of this technology could cut development and operational costs.