Agencies announce funding call for offshore wind projects
Scotland’s economic development agencies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, have joined forces to launch a series of research and development funding calls to attract projects with potential to drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy.
R&D funding has been made available through a range of existing support packages to support growth of the burgeoning offshore wind sector in Scotland
With a direct market value in excess of £7 billion and gross value add of over £17 billion, offshore wind is widely recognised as one of the biggest opportunities for sustained economic growth in Scotland for a generation.
A key priority for the sector is to innovate and commercialise new techniques and technologies that boast the potential to significantly cut the cost of production of renewable energy. The partners are inviting businesses of all sizes and academic institutes located within Scotland to bring forward project ideas that support effective and efficient operation and maintenance through remote condition monitoring and control systems for large scale next generation offshore wind turbines.
In particular, the agencies are looking to support projects in the following areas:
- Next generation condition monitoring and self-diagnosis systems that could help minimise turbine failure rates and reduce maintenance costs.
- Effective remote operating systems that provide full information and control of turbines to reduce the amount of work done on site at sea.
- As turbines increase in size, controller algorithms will have to become increasingly important to reduce fatigue loading as well as control the pitch of the turbine blades in to increase efficiency.
- On a larger scale coordinated supervisory control of wind turbines in a wind farm, building on process industry controls used in more mature industries could significantly improve the overall performance of large windfarms.
Further funding calls are planned over the next year seeking proposals around novel offshore operations and maintenance technologies and techniques, drive train design integration and alternative support structures and foundations for challenging environments.
Director of renewables at Scottish Enterprise, Andy McDonald, said: “Scotland has an incredible wealth of tranferable offshore engineering and technology expertise honed in the oil and gas sector. We are keen to work with Scottish companies and academia with the potential to deliver innovative solutions to some of the challenges our growing offshore wind sector faces.”
Interested companies and academic institutes should submit an online enquiry at www.scottish-enterprise.com/offshorewindfundingcall.
The closing date for expressions of interest under this call is 29 June 2012 with further calls expected over the course of the next year.