The UK-based Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has launched a new Innovation Grant funding competition targeted at two offshore wind industry innovation priorities: Decarbonising the sector and Improving reliability.
Sponsored by Equinor, Ocean Winds, and ScottishPower Renewables, OWGP has released its latest Innovation Grants competition, which will see a total of £2 million (around $2,28 million) awarded to successful supply chain companies.
Innovation Grants from £25k to £200k are available for projects that address either of the two competition strands, OWGP said.
These grants will be available to UK companies that are already active in the offshore wind supply chain or seeking to diversify into the sector. They will be awarded on a competitive basis, with successful proposals demonstrating near-to-market or market ready solutions and a clear ambition for growth in the sector, OWGP added.
According to OWGP, eligible applicants can request up to £200k in a single grant application to cover up to 50% of the total project budget.
Projects will be expected to focus on the commercialization of technologies, products, and services that will either support offshore wind decarbonization or improve the reliability and robustness of offshore wind developments.
These focus areas can include (but are not limited to) recyclable components, offshore charging, condition monitoring, corrosion protection, and scour protection solutions.
This latest tranche of funding builds on the £11.5 million already allocated across seven separate funding competitions launched in the past three years. OWGP funding calls are complemented by business transformation programs, including the Wind Expert Support Toolkit (WEST) and the £1.5M Sharing in Growth (SiG) program.
Sophie Banham, Lead Business Developer, Renewables at Equinor, said: “Equinor is committed to supporting the UK Government’s ambitions to secure 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, and the offshore wind supply chain needs to be prepared to deliver this ambition. We’re proud to support OWGP’s Innovation Grants competition, to strengthen the UK’s supply chain focus on decarbonization, reliability, and robustness.
"As we’re continuing to construct Dogger Bank Wind Farm with our partners, advancing plans to expand our operational Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms, and advancing other opportunities, supply chain readiness to continue to deliver reliably and sustainably is paramount. We look forward to working with the successful companies to advance their innovative solutions and ultimately to integrate these solutions into our UK offshore wind portfolio.”,
Daniel Santa Cruz, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Director at Ocean Winds said the company strived to unlock new potential in the offshore wind industry and in its growing 14.6 GW portfolio of offshore wind projects.
"We are currently focussed on value-adding initiatives that are helping us thrive as a company in the very competitive offshore wind landscape. For us, it is a great opportunity to be part of this initiative to promote innovation in the entire sector, that serves a common growth for all of our projects.
Gillian Noble, ScottishPower Renewables’ Managing Director – Offshore Development & Operations, said: “With an incredible pipeline of around 10GW of offshore wind projects across the UK and Ireland – including our first floating windfarms in partnership with Shell – an innovative and competitive supply chain is crucial for us in fulfilling our ambitions and for offshore wind to lead the UK’s energy mix.
"This is a really exciting opportunity for companies to get involved and show what they have to offer the industry, driving transformation and creativity as we continue to work towards a clean energy future together. It will be fascinating to see the proposals that come forward.”