Ten of the world’s largest offshore energy organizations have joined the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s national Floating Offshore Wind Center 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 Center of Excellence.
The Center of Excellence will focus on all areas of floating wind activity in the U.K. 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 U.K. supply chain, as well as driving innovations in manufacturing, installation and operations and maintenance.
The center will work closely with stakeholders across the sector, including the Welsh and Scottish governments and regional authorities in England, academic institutions in the U.K. and key technology and supply chain providers. This collaborative approach will enable the center to deliver and coordinate a range of activities, including a portfolio of collaborative projects.
“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,” says Cameron Smith of Mainstream Renewable Power.
“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 GW 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 U.K. alone, studies have shown that floating wind could create 17,000 jobs and generate £33.6 billion for the economy by 2050,” he adds.
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.
The Center of Excellence will align activity nationally and develop projects focused on regional priorities. It will closely align its projects and initiatives with the activities of key stakeholders including U.K. government, Scottish government, Welsh government, the Celtic Sea Cluster, Opportunity North East (ONE), the Oil and Gas Technology Center (OGTC), the Deepwind Offshore Wind Cluster, Scottish Enterprise, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Carbon Trust and Crown Estate Scotland.