Located in the Port of Grimsby, the UK Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence (OMCE) is building on the Humber region’s energy heritage and extensive experience of servicing offshore wind farms. The OMCE is a national hub for enhancing the UK’s world leading position in offshore wind operational performance. It is a catalyst for innovation, technology, cross-sector collaboration and best practice to enhance safety, reduce cost and support the growth of UK O&M.
By bringing together offshore wind owners, operators, supply chain, industry leaders, regulators and academia, the OMCE will work with UK industry to drive solution-focused innovation and improvements in O&M.
To establish an internationally recognised centre of excellence in operations and maintenance which will enhance the global impact of UK businesses, making offshore wind O&M smarter, safer and greener.
Drive best practice, knowledge sharing and collaboration between wind farm operators to improve efficiency, reliability, environmental impact and safety. Facilitate market access for companies with new or transferable technologies relevant to O&M.
Core funding for the OMCE is provided by ORE Catapult. Specific projects are supported by industry investment and grant funding.
Impact and additionality
The OMCE recognises there is a range of relevant activity within the broader offshore wind industry and is seeking to augment this through working in collaboration and formal partnerships where this is in the interests of relevant stakeholders. It is seeking to ensure that O&M specific risks and opportunities are considered from the outset, and that the supply chain is informed and positioned to keep pace with market expansion.
O&M activities make up almost a quarter of the lifetime costs of an offshore wind farm and provide a huge opportunity for cost reduction through innovation of products and services.
The Operations and Maintenance Centre of Excellence (OMCE) runs a range of strategic programmes, alongside its core work programme.
In FY23/24 the OMCE is launching a number of targeted strategic programmes. These targeted programmes build infrastructure for delivery of activities in specific high priority areas.
The strategic programmes are:
ORE Catapult convenes the O&M Forum, which brings together owner-operator representatives from operational offshore wind farm sites to share best practice and burning issues in maintenance. Common topics for discussion are major component exchange, parts management, contract management, emerging technologies and techniques. Specialist third parties or developers with no operational wind farms may be invited at times.
ORE Catapult supports the Offshore Renewable Energy Emergency Forum. Senior HSE managers with responsibility for offshore wind farm emergency planning meet with regulators, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and police forces to coordinate and plan emergency responses, including multi-agency exercises.
As both a potential producer and user of clean fuels, the UK’s offshore wind industry is in a unique position to act as a springboard for that broader maritime decarbonisation. The energy generated by offshore wind farms is likely to form part of the maritime fuel mix of the future. Collaborative action from industry leaders across the supply chain is imperative, as is States’ cooperation in helping de-risk these investments and facilitating the path for the industry.
Operation Zero is a collaboration between government and industry with the goal of overcoming barriers to maritime decarbonisation and making zero emissions vessels a reality in the Offshore Wind Operations and Maintenance sector.
Next generation operations and control
Inspection, maintenance and repair
Clean maritime and decarbonisation
‘Data & Digital Solutions: Improving Offshore Wind Asset Operations and Performance’
‘Wind farm control explained’
‘The Role of Robotics in the Future of Offshore Wind and Net Zero’
Katharine is the OMCE (Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence) Manager for the ORE Catapult.
Prior to joining the Catapult in March 2020, Katharine worked for 12 years in operations and maintenance of renewable energy. In previous roles for owner operators and OEMs, Katharine managed the production and logistics of onshore and offshore wind farms, and a hydro power station. This included setting up 24/7 control rooms to monitor production, manage vessels and liaise with National Grid.
As Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence Manager, Katharine brings an understanding of the hurdles and practical challenges to be overcome for a new product or service to make an impact in the offshore renewable industry.
Katharine is the main point of contact for STEM activity within the Humber region.