ORE Catapult's Floating Wind Center Attracts Leading Offshore Energy Players

Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm (Credit Equinor)
Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm (Credit Equinor)

UK-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult said Monday that ten of the world’s leading offshore energy organizations have joined it  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.

ORE's floating offshore wind center 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," ORE Catapult said.

According to ORE Catapult, the FOWCoE 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," ORE Catapult said.

According to ORE catapult, the first tranche of projects will focus on addressing some of the critical challenges in the commercialization 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 Co-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 commercialization 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."  

Edward Northam, Head of GIG Europe, on behalf of the GIG RIDG Joint Venture, said: “Over the last 15 years the fixed bottom offshore wind market has matured at a remarkable rate. By learning from this experience, the floating wind is off to a running start which will enable it to make the leap to commercialization even faster." 

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