Diving in to solve subsea engineering challenges

Offshore Wind Meets… Conference at OrbisEnergy. Pic by TMS Media Ltd

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.


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Upcoming Events

The Team

Katie Snell

Having worked within the property department for 9 years, I have had the pleasure of working within the majority of the Nwes sites in the Norfolk and Waveney area. For the last 2.5 years I have been based at OrbisEnergy and more recently as Senior Coordinator overlooking the renewable hub and team.

Devon Mills

Devon has joined the team at OrbisEnergy as an Administration Coordinator in November 2014 and more recently a Centre Coordinator in January 2016. Having previously worked within various customer service roles she is pleased to be able to apply her skills and knowledge to her position at OrbisEnergy.

She is keen to build a strong understanding within the Offshore Renewable industry, whilst being able to develop a good mind for business and sales.

Johnathan Reynolds

Johnathan is responsible for all aspects of business and supply chain development for the flagship innovation and incubation centre for offshore renewables in the east of England, OrbisEnergy.

Matthew Holden

Matt’s role is Technical Support Manager, his main duty is leading the European Clusters for Offshore Wind Servicing Project (ECOWindS, www.ecowinds.eu) on behalf of Nwes. In addition to ECOWindS Matt’s role is provide support for the property team and to carry out specific project work.

John Balch

John is Managing Director of Nautilus, Director of Nwes and Hub Director of OrbisEnergy and Beacon Innovation Centre. He is a mechanical engineer and has broad experience gained over 40 years in the international offshore industry.

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