The UK offshore wind energy sector is world-leading and has seen huge growth in the last few years. Advances in technology have led to a reduction in costs that have allowed the industry to make a significant contribution to reducing UK carbon emissions from energy.
However, it is estimated that the UK will need to see a ten-fold increase in energy production from wind to 75GW if it is to meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Further innovation will be needed to reduce costs and improve the performance of offshore wind farms. Many other countries also have the potential to supply large amounts of energy through offshore wind farms and face the same challenges.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £1.5 million to support UK businesses working with partners in the United States on innovative offshore wind technologies. Businesses and research organisations must first express an interest in applying.
UK projects must work with a US consortium that intends to or has applied to the $40 million US national offshore wind research and development programme managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The aim of the competition is to reduce technical barriers facing offshore wind farms including cutting costs. Project areas in the US programme include:
- array performance and control optimisation
- cost-reducing turbine support structures for the US market
- floating structure mooring concepts for shallow and deep waters
- power system design and innovation
- comprehensive wind resource assessment
- development of a meteorological and oceanographic reference site
- heavy lift vessel alternatives
- offshore wind digitisation through advanced analytics
- technology solutions to accelerate US supply chain
- the competition is open, and the deadline for expressions of interest is at midday on 15 January 2020
- business of any size can apply but all projects must include at least 1 UK SME
- total UK project costs must be between £150,000 and £600,000
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