Launch of UK Energy Technologies Institute Unveils Offshore Wind, Marine Energy Projects

The inauguration of the UK’s GBP 1.1 billion [US $1.6 billion] Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in London today has launched three offshore wind turbine projects and a marine power project aimed at maximizing the island nation’s renewable energy potential.

The ETI is a private, limited liability company so far comprised of six partners including BP, Shell, Rolls-Royce, E.ON, Caterpillar and EDF Energy that brings together the private and public sectors plus scientific and academic institutions to develop and deploy commercially viable energy technologies.

Each partner is investing £50 million [US $72.76 million] over ten years, and the UK government has pledged to match this funding up to a potential overall fund of £1.1 billion.

The three offshore wind projects announced today include the Blue H consortium, including BAE Systems and EDF Energy, which is developing a floating, deepwater 5-megawatt (MW) wind turbine made of concrete instead of steel.

The low-cost turbine is to be tested at water depths of 60 meters, 60 miles offshore and will be tethered to the seabed with cables.

The Helm Wind Project, comprised of E.ON, BP, Rolls-Royce and the University of Strathclyde, is designing an offshore wind turbine from scratch with the primary aim of being low cost and low maintenance.

The NOVA (Novel Offshore Vertical Axis) project, whose members include QinetiQ, is a potentially 5-10 MW, low-maintenance turbine utilizing aerospace and marine engineering.

ReDAPT (Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal) is a marine energy project developed by Rolls-Royce, E.ON, EDF, Tidal Generation and the European Marine Energy Council (EMEC). A novel 1 MW design is being tested at EMEC’s marine technology site in the Orkney Islands, Scotland and low-cost maintenance is again expected to be a selling point.

Dr David Clarke, CEO of ETI and former head of technology strategy of Rolls-Royce, said the new Institute would announce more offshore wind turbine and marine energy projects in the next six months.

The three offshore wind projects are being researched and developed over an 18 month period after which the turbines could be manufactured in the UK, close to their anticipated implementation off the North Sea coast.

This story was republished with permission from Power Engineering.

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