£6.3 million boost for offshore wind innovation

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Offshore wind innovation has today been given a real boost with the announcement of the first three winners under the second call of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration scheme, and the launch of a fourth round of this competition.

Offshore wind has tremendous potential to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, help cut carbon and help meet the UK’s renewables targets. Innovation is key to improving efficiency and has the potential to drive down costs of offshore wind by 25 per cent by 2020 and 60 per cent by 2050, but further investment is needed in this area.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“This £2.3million will give three more companies the boost they need to take their innovative designs to the next level, helping cut costs in offshore wind generation, and ultimately helping us harness more power from turbines out at sea.

“I wish High Voltage Partial Discharge Ltd, JDR Cable Systems Ltd and Principle Power (Europe) Ltd every success with their projects.

“I am also pleased to announce the launch of a £4million fourth round of this competition and would encourage organisations with innovative ideas to apply.”

Dr Lee Renforth Managing Director of HVPD said:

“The DECC grant will help HVPD to develop our new Offshore High Voltage Network Monitoring System (OHVMS) ‘holistic’ electrical condition monitoring technology for the offshore wind farms subsea cable networks. The technology will be developed over an 18-month period through a consortium led by HVPD and including RWE Npower, NAREC and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham.

“The OHVMS system will provide an advanced, ‘early warning’ alarm against MV/HV cable insulation faults to support preventative, cable repair maintenance interventions and to improve the reliability and availability of this important source of renewables electricity.

“The DECC funding will enable HVPD to significantly reduce the development time for the new OHVMS condition monitoring system with the DECC project scheduled for completion in 18 months (to pre-production) whilst, it is predicted that without the grant, HVPD would have required a 4-year development period to finance and deliver the project.”

Chief Executive Officer of JDR Andrew Norman said:

“We are delighted that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has recognised JDR’s capabilities in the field of inter array cables and awarded funding to support our new research into high voltage array cabling for offshore wind farms.

“The project will help drive down the cost of each megawatt of power produced by an offshore wind farm to make this source of renewable power more cost-effective and competitive.

“Our work will also benefit the environment through the introduction of alternative materials in the design of high voltage cables. DECC’s involvement is a positive affirmation of support for the UK offshore wind industry and we look forward to starting work on this exciting project and contributing towards the future growth of this vital industry.”

Alla Weinstein CEO of Principle Power said

“This DECC funding will allow Principle Power to advance the design of the WindFloat specifically for the UK market, with focus on meeting the Offshore Wind Task Force levelised cost of energy targets.

“The WindFloat’s innovative features allow offshore wind installations, independent of water depth, where the wind is stronger and more consistent. The WindFloat eliminates the need for seabed-disturbing foundation structures and can be sited to avoid conflicts with other marine uses.

“The WindFloat offers considerable economic advantages because it is suitable for serial production manufacturing and on-shore commissioning of the a fully assembled system - floating foundation and the turbine. With nearly 55% of UK Round 3 sites having water depth of greater than 40 meters, project developers and utilities can realise significant economic benefits from WindFloat systems and reduced complexity in their project contracts.

“Principle Power will be working with TAG Energy Solutions, its project partner, on defining methodology for the WindFloat serial production using UK based industrial infrastructure.”

First three winners of second call

High Voltage Partial Discharge (HVPD) Ltd, JDR Cable Systems Ltd and Principle Power have been awarded a share of nearly £2.3million under the £5million second call of the Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration scheme, launched in May last year.

This money will be used for a range of novel ideas to help cut costs and drive forward growth in the offshore wind sector, including design of an integrated offshore high voltage network management system, development of innovative HVAC cables, and the creation of new floating foundations for wind turbines.

Name of organisationAmount awardedLocation/RegionProject ideaHigh Voltage Partial Discharge (HVPD) Ltd.£545,500ManchesterCreate an integrated offshore high voltage network management system (OHVMS) for windfarmsJDR Cable Systems Ltd£1,021,000Littleport, CambridgeshireDevelop and build innovative HVAC cablesPrinciple Power (Europe)£ 698,630TeesideDevelop the design and serial manufacturing process for innovative WindFloat floating foundations for wind turbinesLaunch of £4million fourth call

DECC has today launched a £4 million fourth call of the Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration scheme, aimed at driving forward further innovation in the offshore wind sector and helping even more organisations benefit under this scheme.

There is a rolling call for this competition over the next few months and applications must be received by DECC by noon on day 15 of each month, starting 15 March 2013. Further information and details of how to apply can be found online.

Further winners of the second call and winners of the £7 million third call, launched in November 2012, will be announced later this year. DECC intends to announce the winners of the new fourth call at the end of this year.

Notes for editors

  1. Further details on High Voltage Partial Discharge (HVPD) Ltd.
  2. Further details on JDR Cable Systems Ltd
  3. Further details on Principle Power
  4. Details of how to apply for the fourth call can be found on the innovation funding web pages
  5. This competition is funded and managed by DECC, but the TSB have been involved in the appraisal process.
  6. The Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group’s (LCICG) Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) are a collaborative effort involving all members of LCICG and aims to identify and value the key innovation needs of specific low carbon technology families, in order to inform priorities for public sector investment in low carbon innovation. The TINA on offshore wind can be found on the LCICG website
  7. The Spending Review of November 2010 announced DECC funding of over £200million for low carbon technologies over four financial years, from April 2011. Further details on DECC’s innovation policies can be found on the DECC pages of the Gov.UK website.

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