GE Renewable Energy collaborates with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult for a four year R&D program - Stay Ashore!, to cut down operating costs and improve safety of offshore wind operations.
This £9m worth research program is aimed at reducing the time people have to spend offshore. The program would offer new digital solutions for remotely operating and maintaining wind turbines.
One of the key focus areas of the program “Stay Ashore!” is reliability by design, which is primarily focused on validation of key wind turbine components.
Through advanced digital functionality, the program aims to enable full remote operability and troubleshooting of the turbines to lessen the need to go offshore for unplanned events.
It will also involve use of robotics plays in planned maintenance of events, particularly recurring tasks, and inspection activities along with movements in areas that are difficult to access.
UK Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry said: “We are a nation of innovators and this latest £9 million research partnership between GE Renewable Energy and the Government’s ORE Catapult is a fine example of how we’re working with industry to embrace cutting-edge technology to ensure the UK offshore sector stays ahead of the pack.
“As part of our modern Industrial Strategy we’re putting the finishing touches to our Offshore Wind Sector Deal to create the right business conditions to export this type of expertise around the world to ensure this sector goes from strength to strength.”
This partnership is aimed at further reducing the operating costs of offshore wind, which will benefit electricity consumers.
ORE Catapult Chief Executive Andrew Jamieson said: “This further strengthening of ORE Catapult’s partnership with GE Renewable Energy will see significant investment in nationally important R&D, growing not only our expertise but providing opportunities for the UK supply chain to capture domestic and international market share in an offshore wind market expected to be worth £30 ($39) billion per year by 2030.”
The project Stay Ashore! is part of GE’s broader offshore wind strategy for the UK – collaborating with local partners to lower the cost of electricity and improve consistency of the offshore wind projects.
GE Energy president & CEO of offshore wind business John Lavelle said: “By eliminating unplanned offshore human intervention through increasing productivity with digital and robotic tools, in addition to our Haliade-X 12 MW performance and design features, we will contribute significantly to reducing the cost of offshore wind energy.”
The current partnership between the two companies is anticipated to unveil technology innovation challenges for the UK Small to Medium ventures and academic community taking in robotics, blade and tower inspections and repair processes.