Corrosion, seabed scour, and underwater cleaning are among the challenges facing the offshore wind industry.
And a new series of workshops is looking to innovative companies to hatch ideas to help find engineering solutions.
The first in the series is on Wednesday May 3rd at the Lowestoft-based offshore renewable energy innovation centre OrbisEnergy.
The sessions will be led by the team behind SCORE, which offers grants up to £50,000 and business support through industry experts, to encourage and develop innovation from concept to reality.
Topics have been identified by the offshore wind industry and will be tackled over the next two years. They include:
- Foundations cost reduction – Seabed scour can reduce output and shorten the lifespan of turbines. The challenge is to seek cost-effective, more accurate ways of monitoring scour than the current vessel-based bathymetric survey.
- Anti-corrosion and corrosion-resistant coatings for jackets – Improved coatings or protection methods are needed for sections of sub-structures vulnerable to increased corrosion rates in the inter-tidal zone.
- Jacket cleaning – Finding an alternative, cost-effective way of cleaning marine growth from turbine foundations – currently done by divers or ROVs with high-pressure hoses, which are costly, and limited by weather and vessel availability.
The SCORE team – made up of enterprise agency Nwes, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and industry experts Nautilus Associates – are keen to generate input and develop new and novel ideas from companies.
They also want to encourage diversification among businesses with oil & gas expertise, or with transferrable technical skills, into the growing and lucrative offshore renewables market.
The workshops are open to businesses nationwide, including those in energy hubs at Humberside and the North East.
The first workshop runs from 9.30am to 3.30pm with a range of expert speakers and sessions to talk through ideas in work groups.
The SCORE team will outline the grant and business advice support the scheme can offer to help turn ideas into commercial opportunities.
The Supply Chain Innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE) programme is a £6m scheme part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aimed at promoting innovation, collaboration and cost saving.
For more information and to register visit www.scoregrants.co.uk/events or call 01502 563368.
Picture caption: (credit TMS Media)
Working together to find solutions. Delegates in discussion in an Offshore Wind Meets event held at OrbisEnergy.