The UK’s Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), a collaboration between nine offshore wind developers, has launched the first of 16 new research and development (R&D) projects this year.
The research projects span five key areas: cables, electrical systems, foundations, yield and performance, and logistics and operations and maintenance.
The UK has more offshore wind capacity installed than any country around the world, though challenges still remain in achieving the sector’s long-term potential as the country seeks to raise renewable energy to 95% of electricity generation by 2030.
As a result, the 16 planned projects will aim to optimise and scale renewable energy, critical to meeting these targets. Tenders for each will be available to apply for this month.
Project 1: Integration of tracking and at-sea survey data
One of the first projects put to tender is to integrate GPS tracking data collected on breeding birds with at-sea survey data to enable accurate estimation of the proportion of breeding birds within at-sea surveys, with proper quantification of uncertainty.
Project 2: Low minimum fault levels as grid interface
A second project is to study the opportunities and limitations associated with designing offshore wind farm connections in weak grid areas. This project aims to generate guidelines on strategic and coordinated approaches to modelling, designing, and constructing offshore wind farms in weak grid areas where short circuit ratios are low. It is hoped this will help developers evaluate the best holistic approach to dealing with low fault levels and improving offshore wind farm compatibility.
Hybrid electric vessels, and even full emission-free vessels, are becoming more common, but the charging infrastructure is not widely available for offshore farms. The OWA is developing a new industry standard for charging vessels offshore and will extend this work to accelerate deployment of charging infrastructure within ports.
Jan Matthiesen, the Carbon Trust’s director for offshore wind said: “This new round of 16 projects announced by the OWA will conduct critical research, which aims to generate knowledge to increase the pace and scale of industrialisation of the offshore wind sector globally. These findings are needed now more than ever to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which will be key to achieving Net Zero targets and increasing energy security.”
“In recent years, offshore wind has proven its maturity with drastic cost reductions and a rapid pace of deployment. The sector now faces a new challenge to scale up to meet the increased ambitions across global markets. This will require new innovations and methods to support this unprecedented level of industrialisation and collaboration will be key to achieving success.”
Firms interested in tendering for these or future projects can register here to learn about future tenders.