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ORE Catapult joins ECOWindS project as Associate Partner

Published 12 March 2015

The ECOWindS Consortium welcome the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to the ECOWindS project as an official third party associated partner. ORE Catapult is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, and is the UK counterpart to other innovation centres across Europe such as the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.

In operation since 2013, ORE Catapult delivers prioritised research underpinned by world-class test and demonstration facilities, collaborating with industry, academia and Government to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy and create UK economic benefit.

The Catapult programme represents a £1.4bn funding commitment from the public and private sector over five years. The ORE Catapult have 120 employees located in their offices in Glasgow and Blyth, Northumberland.

Hans Pederson, ECOWindS Project Manager from Danish partner OffshoreEnergy.dk said:

“We are delighted to bring ORE Catapult into the ECOWindS consortium. As a leading offshore renewable innovation organisation in the UK they bring a wealth of expert knowledge to the project.”

Like the consortium who conceived the scope of the ECOWindS project, ORE Catapult has identified key aspects of offshore wind servicing; installation, operations and maintenance of offshore wind structures, as key ‘Knowledge Areas’ where technology innovation could have a significant impact on the costs of energy. The technology innovation and research centre is actively working in these areas, undertaking research in collaboration with industry and research partners to understand particular industry challenges, identify opportunities for innovation, and to work with industries large and small to progress technology innovation.  ORE Catapult has a number of ongoing projects in these areas, such as the Operations & Maintenance Industry Forum, the SPARTA project, and Optimus, which is also an FP7 funded initiative.

As well as their technical expertise and research into opportunities for cost reduction across the offshore wind value chain, ORE Catapult also provide comprehensive open-access test and research facilities at their National Renewable Energy Centre , in Blyth, Northumberland. These facilities, including the 50 and 100m wind turbine blade test facility, the 15MW wind turbine Nacelle test facility, marine and subsea testing environments’ and the an electrical and materials testing laboratory, are vital assets to enable testing and demonstration activities, and the scale up of offshore renewable energy technologies.

Johnathan Reynolds, UK Project Director said:

“We’re excited to be working with ORE Catapult as a consortium member of ECOWindS, which strengthens the UK team, building on our world-leading position for the development of offshore wind.”

Mike Newman, Innovation Manager at ORE Catapult said:

“The ECOWindS project is an exciting project which has generated some interesting innovative concepts that could make a real difference in further driving down the Levelised Cost of Energy. We’re delighted to be joining the consortium and working with UK partners based at OrbisEnergy.”

ORE Catapult has been a welcome and enthusiastic contributor in ECOWindS project events and workshops in the UK and internationally in the past, and will be a valuable contributor to the final year of the project, sharing key industry insights, intelligence and assisting in the research tasks for the remainder of the project. The ECOWindS consortium look forward to working in closer collaboration with their ORE Catapult colleagues both during ECOWindS and other projects in the future.