Robotics & Autonomous Systems

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

Find out more

Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

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

Find out more

Automation & Engineering Solutions

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

Find out more

Stay Current

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

Find out more

Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes identifying the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry. Solving these challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

Find out more

EDF Energy Renewables signs deal for rights to develop Blyth Offshore Wind Test Site

EDF Energy Renewables (EDF ER) has announced that it has acquired the rights to develop the Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Project near the port of Blyth in Northumberland, securing both the seabed rights from The Crown Estate, and associated land rights and meteorological data from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

The project could provide the company with an opportunity to grow its expertise and experience in designing and choosing foundations, as well as installing and operating large turbines in offshore conditions. This experience could be transferred to other projects here in the UK and in France.

The site, the largest consented offshore wind testing facility in the UK, was taken through the planning process by the National Renewable Energy Centre (now the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult). The site can accommodate up to 15 turbines and provides a testing area to install and trial new technology in realistic conditions before commercial operation.

EDF Energy R&D and ORE Catapult have also entered into a collaboration agreement with the aim of developing R&D projects to tackle some of the key technology challenges facing the sector. This could help reduce the risks associated with emerging technologies.

The site at Blyth was offered up to the market by the Crown Estate, the organisation which manages the UK seabed, earlier this year in order to secure a developer capable of delivering an operational test and demonstration project on site by 2016/17. At the same time, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult launched a competitive process for associated project elements like the grid connection, onshore land rights and wind data.

EDF ER is expected to make a final investment decision on building the site next year.

EDF Energy Renewables CEO Christian Egal said:

“We’re delighted to be getting access to a UK site which, subject to a final investment decision by our Investment Committee, could give us the opportunity to further enhance our expertise in building offshore wind farms and to test new technologies.

“Offshore projects present their own unique challenges for developers and having the opportunity to install, and operate much larger machines than we’ve done previously could give us vital experience to take to other projects around the UK and other EDF sites abroad.

“As a company, we already have a large presence in the North East, including EDF’s first offshore wind farm just down the coast at Teesside. So we’re really pleased to be able to add another potential project to our portfolio in a region which is becoming a real power house for the UK energy industry.”

Huub Den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said:

“Blyth offers an unparalleled opportunity to test new technologies capable of driving down the cost of offshore wind development and unlocking new areas of resource off our coast.

“Having an experienced developer like EDF on board is an important step towards unlocking the potential of this site, and enabling new innovations that build on the UK’s reputation as a world leader in this sector.

“Today’s announcement is a tribute to the hard work and cooperation of all parties involved with the site.”

Andrew Jamieson, CEO of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult said:

“ORE Catapult and EDF will collaborate closely on research and development to accelerate the development of innovative technologies for the offshore wind industry, driving down the cost of energy from offshore wind and benefitting the whole offshore renewables industry”.

Back to Press Releases

Fri 31 Oct 2014
Last Updated
Thu 22 Feb 2018


Related Articles

Cookies under debug

Cookies on Catapult explained

To comply with EU directives we now provide detailed information about the cookies we use. To find out more about cookies on this site, what they do and how to remove them, see our information about cookies. Click OK to continue using this site.