Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Innovation Challenges

Solving these technology innovation challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. If your technology has the answer, get in touch via our contact form on the Innovation Challenges page.

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Academic, Research & Innovation

New funding links Scottish businesses with latest R&D support and expertise

A new initiative launching this month from the Knowledge Exchange Network (KEN) pledges to give Scottish businesses a head start in developing offshore wind products and services by accessing academic expertise.

The Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) is an alliance of 13 Scottish universities offering world-class capability and resources in energy technology development. Through KEN, which is funded by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, it provides Scottish technology developers with access to the nation’s leading academics and researchers.

The scheme encourages entrepreneurs and developers from other industries to bring their innovative ideas and technologies to the table, particularly those at the early stages of development, and encourages bids from smaller businesses that lack in-house development skills. The programme will take successful applicants from feasibility studies and modelling right through to testing and validation for the next stage of development.

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy, will help identify the brightest ideas and ways of commercialising them.

ORE Catapult’s Alex Louden, who leads Wind Business Development for the ETP, believes that today’s first-footers in technology development will be in pole position to exploit the global offshore wind market opportunities.

“We are living through one of the biggest energy transitions in human history – wind energy has gone from almost zero to a multi-billion pound industry in the UK in just a few decades. Like the first Gold Rush or oil pioneers, those with the spark and invention to get into the industry now will live to see this market boom in the coming decades.

“Some of the ideas we have taken through the ETP have started out as sketches or almost back-garden experiments. Others are game-changers from the country’s larger manufacturers. Where you start from is not important, what we are looking for are ingenious ideas that can tackle some of the industry’s key technology challenges.”

One company to have benefitted from the scheme is Argyll-based Renewable Parts, founded by entrepreneur Ewan Anderson in 2011. Renewable Parts identified a gap in the market: a lack of a reliable and sustainable system for sourcing spare parts for wind farms. The angle he chose was ingeniously green – refurbishing old parts instead of sourcing new ones, which also helps the industry keep its costs down.

Find out more about our academic collaborations in Circuit Magazine

Academic, Offshore Wind

University of Sheffield, GE Renewable Energy and Catapult collaborate in new £2.5m Powertrain Research Hub

ORE Catapult’s third Research Hub will focus on the development of next generation turbines, improving their operation, reliability and performance.

The University of Sheffield has been named as the academic partner in the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s newest Research Hub, focusing on offshore wind turbine powertrains.

The University is world-renowned for its expertise in the fields of electrical machines, power electronics, controls and energy conversion and storage and will contribute a minimum of £1.7m over five years.  This complements the £700k funding from the Catapult with the collective contributions supporting 12 PhDs, a number of Postdoctoral Research Associates and access to the University’s extensive testing facilities in addition to ORE Catapult’s 1, 3 and 15 MW test assets at its National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth.

GE Renewable Energy will also contribute £500,000 over a four-year programme supporting a number of research projects.  This allows the university to significantly increase its contributions.

The Powertrain Research Hub (PTRH) will support the development of future technologies for larger turbines and research solutions for improving turbine reliability and availability. The Hub’s key objectives are:

  • Reliability improvement and advanced test methodologies.
  • Advanced health condition monitoring and prognostic technologies.
  • Development of next generation powertrain components for larger sized wind turbines.

Research will focus on minimising human interventions throughout the life of the wind turbine, an area of research that has attracted the support of GE Renewable Energy as it is a good fit with its recently announced ‘Stay Ashore!’ research collaboration with the Catapult, aimed at minimising the time people have to spend offshore.

The Catapult already has a strong track record in powertrain testing, research and development and recently signed a five-year collaboration agreement with GE Renewable Energy to advance next generation turbine technologies, including the Haliade-X 12 MW, the most powerful wind turbine in the world to date.

Paul McKeever, ORE Catapult’s Head of Strategic Research, said:

“With industry moving towards larger wind turbines, we have an opportunity to significantly contribute to reducing the cost of turbine technology. It is essential to maximise this opportunity in a number of key areas including the challenge of improving powertrain component reliability and availability.

“By developing the next generation of powertrain components, and improving their lifespan, we can significantly reduce the related operations and maintenance costs and subsequently minimise the number of human interventions for potentially dangerous turbine repair work at sea.”

Scientific Director Professor David Stone from the University of Sheffield said:

“The University of Sheffield sees working with ORE Catapult as a fantastic opportunity to apply its cutting-edge research ideas to support the rapidly expanding field of green energy generation solutions. The synergies brought about by the Powertrain Research Hub will not only bring benefits for the University and the offshore wind industrial sector, but consumers as a whole through higher reliability, lower cost electricity generation.”

Vincent Schellings, CTO and General Manager Product Management for GE’s Renewable Energy Offshore Wind business added:

“The goals of the Powertrain Research Hub are aligned with our Stay Ashore! program announced at the end of last year. This academic collaboration will give us access to different insights, that will ultimately help us to achieve our goal of minimising the time spent at sea, which is a key element of reducing the cost of electricity for our customers.”

Offshore Wind, Research & Innovation

New UK business growth programme seeking Chair and Board members

The newly-announced Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) is recruiting for a Non-Executive Chair and two additional Non-Executive Directors who have a passion for growing UK businesses and want to play a key role in building on the UK offshore wind success story.

Announced as part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the OWGP is part of a £250 million investment by the offshore wind industry that will support improvements in productivity and competitiveness to build a stronger UK supply chain.  The aim is to drive increased UK content into offshore windfarms to meet a target of 60% by 2030, and to increase exports fivefold to £2.6bn a year.

The OWGP is seeking three business leaders with experience of the offshore wind sector or the ability to bring new experience of supply chain management from other sectors to serve on the OWGP Governance Board.

Dr Stephen Wyatt, Research and Innovation Director at ORE Catapult, said: “The OWGP is a long-term programme backed by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and is based on successful models used in the aerospace and automotive sectors that have demonstrated the value that can be created from growth partnerships.”

“The OWGP activities will initially focus on helping supply chain companies with strategy and leadership, project management, people excellence, process excellence, health and safety culture, and quality management. It will also work with the offshore wind developers to provide greater long-term visibility of project pipelines that will help supply chain companies to plan and, if necessary, to invest in new capability or capacity.

“The Governance Board will play a key role in providing oversight for the OWGP’s activities.”

Over the next decade, there will be a huge global expansion of offshore wind capacity with some estimates envisaging a 17% annual growth from 22GW to 154GW in total installed capacity by 2030.  The domestic opportunities are significant too. Building at least 30GW of offshore wind by 2030 will see a £48bn investment in UK infrastructure over the next decade, generating 27,000 jobs.

Visit the OWGP webpage for more information. Closing date for applications is Tuesday 23 April 2019.

Data & Digitalisation, Operation & Performance

Survey reveals industrial priorities when it comes to adopting data and digitalisation in the offshore wind sector

The Digital Innovation Priorities Survey, commissioned by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, has identified the biggest data and digital challenges currently facing the industry

An independent survey carried out among key stakeholders in the offshore wind sector has revealed that more needs to be done when it comes to adopting and sharing new data and digital technologies.

Almost all participants who took part in the research (94%) said there is a gap between the way in which the offshore wind industry currently operates, and how it should be operating in order to extract the full value from data and digital technologies. One third of the respondents (31%) also admitted to having a low or very low understanding of data and its potential for the sector.

The Digital Innovation Priorities Survey was commissioned by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult with the aim of identifying the biggest data and digitalisation challenges currently facing the offshore wind industry. It also looked to uncover what measures could be taken to break down the barriers that exist to realising the potential of data and digitalisation for future growth in the sector, by exploring ways in which bottlenecks can be addressed and how ORE Catapult can help move the industry forwards.

Improving the way in which the offshore wind industry gathers and uses data, analytics and insights is seen as vital to the sector’s success and in achieving the ambitious growth targets set out in the recently announced joint UK Government-industry Sector Deal, which will see at least 30GW installed UK offshore capacity by 2030, creating 27,000 jobs.

Turbine data accessibility and an unwillingness for organisations to share data with each other were cited as two of the main bottlenecks the industry is currently contending with, along with a lack of digital capability to understand and analyse data and turn it into actionable insight. More than a third of people (37%) said the sharing of data needs to be encouraged, while one fifth (20%) said increasing the standardisation of data formats would help the sector to better understand and take advantage of the information being presented to them.

Dr Conaill Soraghan, Data & Digitalisation Team Leader at ORE Catapult, said: “It is our ambition to drive the ‘Race to Zero’ human intervention initiative here in the UK, and to champion the new technology that can help us achieve that ambitious goal of minimising the time people have to spend offshore, which will enhance both safety and operating costs for offshore wind farms.  We believe that data and digitalisation are a key area of opportunity for the offshore wind sector. The industry generates huge amounts of data and the potential it presents are endless, particularly in terms of improving efficiency, aiding decision making, reducing running costs and solving operation and maintenance issues.

“However, this survey has revealed that there are significant challenges which exist around the effective management and usage of data. Data owners are struggling with data volume, modern digital technologies are not being exploited to process and analyse data, and many digital service providers are lacking awareness of, and access to, the offshore wind industry to develop solutions for the sector. Concepts and techniques in areas such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are yet to have an impact in offshore wind, and that’s something that needs to change if the sector is to embrace a more cost-effective future.”

Over 35 of the leading organisations in offshore wind were selected to provide detailed responses as part of the survey, including windfarm owner/operators, original equipment manufacturers, consultants and supply chain companies. Of the supply chain companies questioned, almost a quarter (22%) explicitly said they found it harder to sell their services to the offshore wind sector compared to other sectors. Elsewhere, assistance with data governance, machine learning applications, the development of digital twin models and analytical services were all cited as services which are yet to have been commissioned by the offshore wind sector.

When asked which other sectors the offshore wind industry should be learning from, oil and gas was cited most heavily (31%) followed by the aerospace and aviation (25%), automotive (23%) and electrical power (20%) industries.

Dr Soraghan adds: “Whilst highlighting some key areas that need improvement, our survey has also endorsed the relevance of the work we do at the Catapult. There is a consensus from respondents that we are in the best position to lead progress in terms of data and digitalisation for the industry, with 76% of respondents registering a positive view of the role we can play. We are acting on the survey’s findings and are determined to move forward with initiatives that will help the industry adopt a more efficient, effective, data-driven future.”

ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. Using their unique facilities and expertise, the Catapult works in close partnership with OEMs, developers and owner/operators in the offshore renewable energy industry to improve existing and develop next generation renewable energy technology in the UK.

The Digital Innovation Priorities Survey was undertaken by independent tech-focussed market research company System Insight and commissioned by ORE Catapult.

Offshore Wind, Research & Innovation

New Joint UK-China Research Centre Open to Opportunity of $100bn Offshore Wind Market

A new £2million joint UK-China offshore wind research centre has opened today (Thursday 21st March) in Yantai City, the highlight of a week-long trade mission to China for 11 innovative UK companies eager to explore opportunities presented by the world’s fastest growing offshore wind market.

The TUS-ORE Catapult Research Centre (TORC) will act as a leading renewable energy technology research and development centre with unique links into both the UK and China to support the growth of their respective offshore wind industries.

The Centre will develop collaborative research programmes, support market entry and incubation for UK businesses in China, provide commercial support for Chinese offshore wind developers and support the demonstration of new technologies on a 300MW windfarm in the Shandong Province.

ORE Catapult’s Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson, said “Our new Research Centre, in partnership with TUS, will support UK businesses as they take advantage of a new wave of opportunities to engage with one of the fastest-growing offshore wind markets in the world – and present a fantastic opportunity to develop a supply chain that can compete on a global scale.”

“With more than a decade of experience and expertise in this sector, and global exports expected to be worth £2.6bn a year by 2030 for UK companies, now is the time for innovative companies to act and establish themselves at the heart of the Chinese market.”

China is predicted to become the world’s largest offshore wind market by 2030, with the Chinese Government investing $100bn in wind power projects by 2020 and aiming to install 5GW of offshore wind in the South China Sea, with a further 10GW in planning.

Tus Clean Energy’s Senior Vice president, Charlie Du, said “The TUS-ORE Catapult Research Centre is an important project established under ‘The Belt and Road’ initiative. China’s ocean economy is increasing by 7.2% per year and the province of Shandong’s abundant resources has been enlisted by the State Council as a ‘comprehensive test area for new and old kinetic energy conversion’.

“Following the development of TORC, I believe the government will provide more favourable policies to UK companies seeking to enter China to create real benefit to both sides, furthering the technological cooperation between China and UK and creating significant opportunities and reliable incubation service for UK companies”.

The Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Programme offshore wind mission was set up to provide innovative UK companies with an invaluable opportunity to both engage with potential Chinese technology partners in the sector and gain an insight as to how their technology development programmes can be adapted for the rapidly emerging offshore wind market.

Synaptec, which develops unique photonic sensing systems on optical fibre to minimise network fault disruption, is part of the trade mission. Head of Business Development Saul Matthews commented: “As a small business with big ambitions, we are clear that offshore wind is a global market. Working with ORE Catapult to access the leading developments in the biggest offshore wind market in the world places us in pole position to seize the opportunity to not only grow our company in the UK but to generate significant exports and international development”.

The UK is the global leader in offshore wind power, with more offshore wind farms than any other country in the world. By 2030, it is expected that offshore wind will generate one third of the UK’s total electricity requirements.

Ends

Notes to Editors

The UK companies participating in the Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Programme offshore wind mission are:

Synaptec, GreenSpur Renewables, Magnomatics Ltd, Rovco Limited, SENSE Wind Ltd, ARC Marine, Cedeco Contractors Ltd, MasterFilter Limited, Anakata Wind Power Resources Ltd, Sennen Tech and First Airborne Britannia Ltd

 

TUS-ORE Catapult Research Centre (TORC)

TORC is a joint venture company established by ORE Catapult Development Services Ltd (located in Northumberland, UK), TUS Wind Technology Co Ltd (located in Beijing, China) and TUS Mingshi Science and Innovation Co Ltd (based in Yantai, China). Its main office is located in the Yantai Hi-Tech Development Zone in the coastal city of Yantai, in the Shandong Province in China.

Priority research programmes for the new Tus-ORE Catapult Research Centre include:

  • Next generation component design/manufacture for improved reliability of wind turbines (including novel generator and subcomponent design)
  • Novel installation technologies to reduce costs and risk for windfarm installation (including technologies relating to foundation installation, cable trenching and environmental issues)
  • Improved Operations & Maintenance technologies for windfarm inspection and monitoring (including ROV / drone monitoring techniques and data analysis)
  • A review of windfarm developments in China and potential technology challenges which joint research projects could address in terms of deployment and operation
Research & Innovation, Wave & Tidal

Catapult Welcomes New Marine Energy Report

Gavin Smart, ORE Catapult’s Head of Analysis & Insights, has welcomed the publication of the UK Marine Energy 2019 – A New Industry report from the Marine Energy Council in conjunction with Scottish Renewables.

“The report builds on work carried out by ORE Catapult in 2018, and uses up to date case studies and industry survey information to set out the achievements of the UK marine energy sector and its potential to add significant value to the UK economy.

“It outlines possible routes to market to allow the UK to realise this value through the generation of clean energy, creation of high-value jobs in coastal and other areas and how it can capitalise on a global export opportunity.

“We expect the report to be invaluable for the UK marine energy industry in making the case for supportive policies that can help to bring the industry to full commercialisation.”

 

Offshore Wind

Offshore wind is first renewable technology to agree Sector Deal with Government

The offshore wind industry is welcoming today’s landmark announcement of a Sector Deal with the government. The agreement will help to create tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the UK and attract billions of pounds in investment to this country.

This is the first Sector Deal for a renewable energy technology. It puts offshore wind at the centre of the nation’s clean, affordable and reliable energy system, almost quadrupling our capacity from 7.9 gigawatts now to at least 30GW by 2030, generating one-third of our electricity.

The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, the biggest offshore wind farms and the most powerful turbines. The supply chain extends to every part of the country, and UK companies are already exporting our offshore wind products and services to more than 20 countries. With the Sector Deal now in place, those exports are set to increase fivefold in value to £2.6 billion a year by 2030.

The Sector Deal builds on our nation’s success, notably by the industry investing up to £250m to develop the UK supply chain, increasing productivity and fostering innovation. This includes an investment of up to £100m in a new industry programme, the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, which will help UK companies seeking to grow their business in the rapidly-growing global offshore wind market, as well as a new initiative to develop skills for the sector.

The Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said “This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.

“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports.  This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”

The Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, Benj Sykes, said: “Now that we’ve sealed this landmark deal with our partners in government, as a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, offshore wind is set to take its place at the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system of the future.

“This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country with transformational,  sustainable opportunities, especially coastal communities, from Wick in the north of Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber. Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom. The Sector Deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not only in the UK, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30bn a year by 2030”.

Andrew Jamieson, CEO of ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, said: “Innovation has been at the heart of the UK’s tremendous success story to date in offshore wind and it will be vital in developing a strong, indigenous supply chain in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence, digitalisation and enhanced operations and maintenance to capitalise on the global growth of the sector. With a UK market expected to be worth almost £5bn annually by 2030, and £30bn globally, this Sector Deal represents a huge opportunity for UK companies to reap the rewards domestically and in new global export markets, creating economic benefit and high value jobs across the country.”

Offshore Wind, Operation & Performance, Testing & Validation

First UK coastal lidar test site yields outstanding results

Wood has successfully completed the first commercial lidar test at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s new UK test and verification facility, with outstanding results.

The 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine’s onshore met mast, located on the Fife coast and operated by ORE Catapult, is the only open access facility in the UK that offers the opportunity to test, demonstrate and verify up to four lidar systems at any one time against high quality, representative offshore wind resources. The test site was developed with support from the Scottish Government.

The test of Wood’s Galion lidar system was completed ahead of schedule, in one month rather than the planned three-month test programme, due to the abundant natural wind resource at the Levenmouth site. The quality of the data gathered allowed the engineering company to fully fill its ‘data bin’ and verify its equipment, gaining confidence in the accuracy of the technology.

Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, said: “The unique position of the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine and its met mast, being classed as an offshore wind turbine but accessible from the shore, means the wind resource is excellent and typically representative of what developers might experience offshore.

“The combination of highly reliable meteorological data and Catapult lidar test and verification specialists makes our unique facility ideal for developers to test and verify their remote sensor technologies for both onshore and offshore needs. Our site represents the only coastal location in the UK that offers lidar verification services, enabling Levenmouth to become a premier location for lidar testing in Europe, and the outstanding success of this first commercial test means we are now fully open for business.”

Alan Mortimer, Wood’s director of innovation, said: “Wood is delighted to have had the opportunity to access ORE Catapult’s new lidar test facility at the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine site. The test facility offers a unique, controlled and secure location otherwise not available in Scotland to allow the testing of remote sensing equipment.

“Installing met masts for monitoring environmental conditions at new offshore renewable installations is time-consuming and expensive. Lidar presents a more cost-effective option for developers, providing comprehensive and accurate data that meets the needs of investors whilst also supporting design optimisation and cost of energy reduction. To satisfy international standards lidar units are typically verified at high quality test facilities and the Catapult’s test facility in Levenmouth is the ideal location to carry out this verification.

“We are extremely grateful to be the first company to utilise the test site for the performance verification of one of our Galion Lidar G250 models, which achieved an excellent pass. We envisage many more lidar performance verifications at this test site in the months and years ahead.”

The Levenmouth test site complements the Catapult’s existing offshore floating lidar verification service using its Offshore Anemometry Hub (NOAH), 3nm off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland. Leading industry players such as Axys and EOLOS have all successfully demonstrated their technologies at NOAH.

Offshore Wind, Research & Innovation

New £1m industry collaboration to develop and demonstrate self-installing seabed scour protection system

A new £1m project to develop an innovative self-installing scour protection system could save the average wind farm approximately £8.6m over its lifetime[1].

Scour occurs when an underwater structure is subjected to currents and waves. Foundations used by offshore wind turbines can be susceptible to scour depending on site conditions, which can reduce the stability of this critical structure. Therefore, scour protection and prevention is vital.

The Innovate UK-backed, 20-month Self-Installing Scour Protection for Offshore Wind Farms (SISProtect) project is a collaboration between six industry partners all contributing their unique expertise.

The consortium is led by Great Yarmouth’s Seabed Scour Control Systems (SSCS) Ltd. The design of the prototype Frond Mat scour protection system, with an integrated deployment method, will be a joint effort between SSCS and SPT Offshore. SSCS will design the frond mats and SPT Offshore will design the deployment system.

The Self-Installing Scour Protection will then be fabricated and fitted to a suction bucket foundation designed and manufactured by SPT Offshore and installed by N-Sea at ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm. This field trial follows laboratory scour tests already carried out by ScottishPower Renewables with SSCS Ltd at HR Wallingford. A suction bucket without scour protection will also be installed, providing a reference for the level of scour that will develop naturally at the site and ensuring that the reduced scour measured at the protected suction bucket can be properly attributed to the Frond Mats; comparisons will also be made to the foundation rock armour used at East Anglia One.

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult will analyse how this system compares in performance and cost with traditional scour protection systems, starting with the installation through to infield performance and decommissioning, and DHI Water Environments Ltd will monitor the offshore deployment and system performance over 12 months, after which time the system will be removed. ScottishPower Renewables will be responsible for site consenting, project management and providing access to the East Anglian ONE offshore windfarm site.

Adam Tucker, Subsea Division Manager at SCSS Ltd, said: “By pre-installing the scour protection system onshore and deploying at the same time as the foundation installation, this innovation will remove the need for environmentally damaging quarrying of rocks and diesel intensive installation vessels whilst providing a lower cost alternative to those currently available for the protection of offshore wind structures.”

ORE Catapult’s Financial Analyst Miriam Noonan added: “Installation costs typically account for over 75% of the overall cost associated with scour protection systems. By being able to deploy SSCS Frond Mats at the same time as the wind turbine foundation installation, the associated installation costs may be significantly reduced.”

[1] It is estimated that the protection system could reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy by 40p/MWh, based on 2016’s Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework. Analysis by ORE Catapult using the IEA reference windfarm at 496MW translates this into a cost saving of £8.6million per farm over its lifetime. 

Electrical Infrastructure, Research & Innovation

North East Energy Firm Gets Battery Innovation Boost

Newcastle-based Connected Energy’s innovative battery storage system has been given a competitive boost after receiving specialist input from a support programme designed to help north east companies to develop electricity grid-related technology.

Connected Energy worked with UK grid experts Narec Distributed Energy to achieve the latest G99 compliance for its innovative E-STOR battery system. The support came as part of the Grid Connection Support Series, a programme run by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult designed to provide business support for companies seeking to grow and innovate across grid-related products and services.

With more renewable energy power entering the grid, combined with the phasing out of old generators, companies with technologies that meets the latest standards are better prepared for the complex requirements of the modern grid. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the free-to-access Grid Connection Support Series will run until 2020, providing masterclasses, innovation challenges and direct business support to better prepare the UK supply chain for future grid connection challenges.

William Hair of Connected Energy said: “The help from the Grid Connection Support Series was invaluable. It has allowed us to access world-leading knowledge in the UK grid, which ensures our products comply with all of the latest regulations as the UK electricity grid transitions from G59 to G99.”

Bryan Dixon of Narec Distributed Energy said: “Supporting battery manufacturers is vital, the UK electricity grid requires significant amounts of storage to ensure that the UK can transition to 100% renewables. Connected Energy are one of the few UK-based battery manufacturers of this scale, and it is incredibly important to us to support UK innovation in renewables and storage.”

Ravneet Kaur, Innovation Manager at ORE Catapult said: “This is a great example of the Grid Connection Support Series delivering for a UK SME, enabling them to become more competitive as a result. The Series provides great opportunities for companies to advance low carbon technology, research and innovation and I’d like to see more businesses take advantage of this opportunity.”

Click here for more information on the Grid Connection Support Series. 

Ends 

Notes to Editors

eGrid project

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is upgrading its research infrastructure through the installation of a grid emulation system, named ‘eGrid’, located at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.

As a result, the Grid Connection Support Series, incorporating the Future of Energy Systems Masterclasses, is offering business support services and assistance to UK SMEs seeking to grow and innovate in grid connection products and services, at no cost to participating companies.

Connected Energy

A developer and supplier of energy storage systems that are now active across Europe, Connected Energy is unique in having a world-leading technology using second life electric vehicle batteries – a sustainable solution with global applications.

Narec Distributed Energy

Narec Distributed Energy is an organisation specialises in providing technical consultancy and training within the areas of grid connection, battery energy storage technologies, energy efficiency and onshore renewable energy.

www.narecde.co.uk.

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