Industry giants back ORE Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence
22 June 2020
Ten of the world’s leading offshore energy organisations have joined the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s national Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOWCoE) to drive forward the development of next-generation offshore wind technologies.
Offshore wind developers EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, Equinor, ESB, Mainstream Renewable Power, ScottishPower Renewables, SSE Renewables, and Offshore Wind Power Ltd (OWPL), a Joint Venture between the Green Investment Group and RIDG, are joined by energy companies Total and Shell in the Centre of Excellence.
The Centre of Excellence will focus on all areas of floating wind activity in the UK across four key workstreams – technology development, supply chain and operations, development and consent, and delivering net zero. The aim is to reduce the cost of energy from floating wind, accelerate the build-out of floating farms, create opportunities for the UK supply chain, as well as driving innovations in manufacturing, installation and operations and maintenance.
The Centre will work closely with stakeholders across the sector, including the Welsh and Scottish Governments and regional authorities in England, leading academic institutions in the UK, and key technology and supply chain providers. This collaborative approach will enable the Centre to deliver and coordinate a range of world-leading activities, including a portfolio of collaborative projects.
The first tranche of projects will focus on addressing some of the critical challenges in the commercialisation of floating offshore wind, including the development and consenting process; project and technology certification, classification and application of standards; developing a cost reduction pathway to commercial competitiveness; and defining the energy systems benefits of floating offshore wind.
Cameron Smith, from Mainstream Renewables Power, will C0-Chair the FOWCoE’s Executive Governance Board alongside ORE Catapult’s Chris Hill. He said: "I’m delighted to have the opportunity to Co-Chair this exciting group which I believe will be critical in driving forward the commercialisation of floating offshore wind. I am particularly pleased to support the Government’s push to attract high value, supply chain businesses.”
"The advancement of floating wind technologies is seen as vital if the country is to deliver on its ambitious offshore wind growth target of 40 gigawatts by 2030 and meet our net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. It can also be a catalyst for a robust global economic recovery as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic. In the UK alone, studies have shown that floating wind could create 17,000 jobs and generate £33.6 billion for the UK economy by 2050."
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s Operational Performance Director and Co-Chair of the FOWCoE’s Executive Governance Board commented: "Our team of innovation experts and engineers here at ORE Catapult are very much looking forward to working with our stakeholders, industrial and academic partners to accelerate floating offshore wind technology deployment. We’ll work together to de-risk and encourage innovation to ensure we deliver UK economic benefit from the global growth of floating offshore wind – growing local supply chains and delivering UK content and jobs as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic."
The Centre of Excellence will align activity nationally and develop projects focused on regional priorities. It will closely align its projects and initiatives with the activities of key stakeholders including UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, the Celtic Sea Cluster, Opportunity North East (ONE), the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), the Deepwind Offshore Wind Cluster, Scottish Enterprise, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Carbon Trust and Crown Estate Scotland.
Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm (Credit Equinor)