£1 million fund opens for innovations to de-risk floating offshore wind

Up to £1 million of funding has been offered by the Scottish government to help solve specific challenges and de-risk floating wind farm development. The invitation has been particularly extended to other sectors (marine, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, robotics and manufacturing) in hopes of recieving innovative proposals.

The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP), representing 14 developers, has  launched the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition to accelerate the development and commercialisation of floating wind. The Carbon Trust and JIP will select the best ideas with a particular emphasis on mooring systems and operations and maintenance (O&M).

The competition is specifically seeking technologies to address four key challenge areas:

  • Technologies that will enable effective and safe major component exchange offshore, for example by compensating for the relative motion between the vessel and turbine during O&M.
  • Developing cost effective and safe disconnection and re-connection operations when turbine foundations are towed to port. This includes novel ‘out of service’ arrangements to secure mooring lines and electrical cables while the turbine is in port.
  • New methods for cost effective, safe and reliable monitoring and inspection of  mooring lines, power cables and foundation structures.
  • New methods, materials or technologies that reduce the cost of mooring systems through easier and safer installation or reduced maintenance . 
  • Miscellaneous  novel ideas.  

The competition will not fund new floating wind platform or turbine designs, improvements to the design of export cables, or projects primarily aimed at supporting fixed-bottom offshore wind turbines. 

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:”Given that 80% of offshore resource across the world is in deeper water, floating offshore wind will undoubtedly play a key role in renewable generation in the future. Finding solutions to the key challenges identified as part of the competition will facilitate faster deployment of commercial level floating offshore wind farms, allowing this technology to reach its potential.”

Jan Matthiesen, Director of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust commented: “Floating wind is a proven technology and promises to be the next renewable power success story, but to meet the scale of ambition we need to accelerate cost reduction.

“By 2030, the Carbon Trust estimates that a further 12GW of floating wind capacity could be built globally, requiring around £32.4bn of capital investment. This rapid growth provides opportunities to participate in this exciting new sector and we welcome ideas from across industry to support this important sector.”

More details here