January 25 (Renewables Now) - The UK government on Tuesday announced more than USD 60 million (USD 81m/EUR 72m) of public and private funding to advance research and development in floating offshore wind.
The government will invest GBP 31.6 million in 11 projects as part of the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme, with industry to provide more than GBP 30 million in matching funds. The projects will pursue progress in areas such as mooring turbines, subsea cabling and foundation solutions.
The largest amount of GBP 10 million has been awarded to a project led by SenseWind to demonstrate a compact floating turbine foundation and anchors. The project will combine SenseWind’s turbine self-installation system, the PelaStar tension leg platform (TLP) floating foundation from Glosten and Subsea Micropile anchors. The concept will be tested with a 2-MW floating wind turbine slated for installation in late 2023 off the coast of Scotland, the company said. The SenseWind system allows for maintenance to be carried out offshore, removing the need for towing back to shore.
A project led by Copenhagen Offshore Partners will also receive a major award of about GBP 9.7 million. The project team, including also SSE Renewables, Maersk Supply Service Subsea and Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group, will develop and demonstrate novel mooring system technologies, cable protection, floating turbine base design and an advanced digital monitoring system. The demonstrations will be integrated with the Pentland Demo project, which will see a 15-MW-18-MW class floating platform based on the TetraSub design by Stiesdal Offshore Technologies deployed in Scotland in 2023.
The government said that the initiatives will help maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind and increase energy security.
“These innovative projects will help us expand renewable energy further and faster across the UK and help to reduce our exposure to volatile global gas prices,” said energy minister Greg Hands.
According to the government, the demonstration programme will accelerate cost declines for floating turbines, fostering the UK supply chain and aiding its target of 1 GW of floating offshore wind by 2030.
“Recent floating wind leasing announcements from ScotWind, and in the Celtic and North Seas, present an unprecedented opportunity for UK innovation to come to the fore and drive economic and supply chain growth and job creation,” commented Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which will be partnering on a number of the projects.
The government’s efforts to boost floating wind include support for the technology in the fourth allocation round of its contracts for difference (CfD) scheme, where GBP 24 million a year has been ringfenced for floating wind.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.349/EUR 1.193)