Wind technology to gain multi-million pound training centre
5 Nov 2019
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched a new multi-million pound national Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence to promote next generation offshore wind technologies.
The initiative is backed by up to £500,000 funding each from key organisations in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall – areas which hope to benefit significantly from using wind power generation.
Participants include the Scottish Government, the Wales-based Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE) and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
ORE Catapult’s Macroeconomic Benefits Report, released in September 2018, and the joint Renewable UK and Scottish Renewables Floating Wind – The UK Industry Ambition report have identified Scotland, Wales and South West England as key areas that could benefit from offshore wind power.
They estimate this could create 17,000 jobs and generate £33.6 billion for the UK economy by 2050.
Scottish Government energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland’s unique deep-water profile and significant expertise in oil and gas mean we are exceptionally well placed to take advantage of the huge economic opportunity presented by early adoption of commercial scale floating projects.
ORE Catapult operational performance director Chris Hill commented that, according to International Energy Agency estimates, the next generation of floating turbines could generate sufficient energy to meet the world’s total electricity demand 11 times over in 2040.
“Our team of innovation experts and engineers will work across industry and academia to accelerate floating offshore wind technology deployment and 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,” he added.
More than 10 offshore wind developers, including Total, Equinor, Mainstream Renewable Power and EDP Renewables, together with three UK universities have expressed interest in involvement.
Key stakeholders include theWelsh 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 and Crown Estate Scotland.