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Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence launched

Published: 1 November 2019 - Carly Wills

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched a new multi-million pound national Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence to drive forward the development of next generation offshore wind technologies. 

The initiative is backed by up to £500,000 funding each from the Scottish Government and the Catapult’s Welsh-based Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE), match funding from industry and active support from Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership. The aim is to develop an internationally recognised centre of excellence that will work to reduce the cost of energy from floating wind, accelerate the build out of floating farms, create opportunities for the UK supply chain, and drive innovations in manufacturing, installation and operations and maintenance.  

The advancement of floating wind technologies is seen as vital if the UK is to deliver on its ambitious offshore wind growth target of 30 gigawatts by 2030 and meet the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation of 75 gigawatts by 2050. ORE Catapult’s Macroeconomic Benefits Report, released in September 2018, and the joint Renewable UK and Scottish Renewables Floating Wind – The UK Industry Ambition report released this week, both identify Scotland, Wales and South West England as key areas that could benefit from floating offshore wind, creating 17,000 jobs and generating £33.6bn for the UK economy by 2050. 

The Centre of Excellence will cover all the areas of floating wind activity in the UK, aligning activity nationally and developing projects focused on regional priorities.  

Eight initial projects will kick-start the Centre’s activities. These include:

  • Powering Offshore Oil Platforms Using Floating Offshore Wind Turbines
  • Hybrid Bottom Fixed/Floating Offshore Wind Sites
  • Grid Connection for Scottish Offshore Wind / Off Grid opportunities including H2
  • Floating Substructures for Fabrication in Scotland
  • Mapping Scotland’s Floating Offshore Wind Supply Chain
  • Scottish Aquaculture and Floating Wind Synergies
  • Mapping Cornwall and Wales Floating Offshore Wind Supply Chain
  • Site characterisation of Atlantic Approaches and Celtic Sea

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