The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has announced a £1.3m programme of technology innovation projects designed to advance Scotland’s offshore wind sector.
The programme is backed by £445k funding from the Scottish Government, a further £150k from industry partners including Fergusons Marine Engineering, CWind and WOOD, and match funding from ORE Catapult.
The four projects will focus on next generation crew transfer and service vessels, a technology accelerator programme, investigating alternative communication and remote supervisory systems, and establishing a ‘Fit for Offshore’ business excellence programme to enable the Scottish supply chain to access offshore wind commercial opportunities.
Innovation and a focus on developing a strong UK supply chain is at the heart of the industy’s proposed ‘Sector Deal’, creating economic value and highly-skilled jobs, often in regions of the UK where investment and economic regeneration is needed most.The four projects are designed to link the Scottish supply chain and academia directly with technology and innovation opportunities in offshore wind.
Welcoming the announcement, Scottish Government Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “Scotland’s Energy Strategy sets out the continuing opportunities for innovation within the offshore wind sector, and this grant demonstrates our determination to help realise that potential, including bringing growth and high value jobs to Scotland’s economy.
“Offshore wind has a key role to play in achieving our ambitious energy targets and delivering a low-carbon energy system. Scotland has massive offshore wind potential and this funding will help ensure that our world-leading offshore wind sector develops successfully and sustainably.”
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director, said: “Through these four projects, our team of innovation experts and engineers will work across industry and academia to accelerate commercial technology deployment, de-risk and encourage innovation, develop joint industry projects to address common sector challenges, and work to encourage the cross transfer of technologies from other sectors.
“We’ll leverage our existing collaborations with leading industry players such as Vattenfall, Equinor, SSE, EDF Energy and ScottishPower Renewables to provide technical input, commercialisation support and access to Scottish offshore wind demonstration sites.
“The investment should give Scottish companies a crucial edge in developing technology and services for the new wave of offshore wind developments.”
Mark Preece, CWind’s Managing Director, said: “CWind, as part of the Global Marine Group, is committed to innovation and driving positive change to support the future growth of offshore renewables. We are delighted to play a part in this Catapult initiative, engineering a clean and connected future runs through the core of our business and we are looking forward to collaborating with ORE Catapult.”
Chris Dunn, Chief Naval Architect at Ferguson Marine, said: “Over recent years FMEL has led the world in the development of green marine propulsion technologies, primarily focused on the short sea passenger vessel market. These projects will allow us to explore technology transfer from the ferry industry into the renewable support vessel sector, exploring opportunities for the domestic supply chain and providing us the opportunity to overtake our international competitors by developing innovative and efficient solutions to the many O&M challenges facing the offshore renewable industry.”