UK: HVPD, JDR, Principle Power Receive Boost from DECC’s Offshore Wind Scheme

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Offshore wind innovation has yesterday been given a real boost with the announcement of the first three winners under the second call of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration scheme.

High Voltage Partial Discharge (HVPD) Ltd, JDR Cable Systems Ltd and Principle Power have been awarded a share of nearly £2.3million under the £5million second call of the Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration scheme, launched in May last year.

This money will be used for a range of novel ideas to help cut costs and drive forward growth in the offshore wind sector, including design of an integrated offshore high voltage network management system, development of innovative HVAC cables, and the creation of new floating foundations for wind turbines.

Offshore wind has tremendous potential to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, help cut carbon and help meet the UK’s renewables targets. Innovation is key to improving efficiency and has the potential to drive down costs of offshore wind by 25 per cent by 2020 and 60 per cent by 2050, but further investment is needed in this area.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“This £2.3million will give three more companies the boost they need to take their innovative designs to the next level, helping cut costs in offshore wind generation, and ultimately helping us harness more power from turbines out at sea.

“I wish High Voltage Partial Discharge Ltd, JDR Cable Systems Ltd and Principle Power (Europe) Ltd every success with their projects.”

Dr Lee Renforth, Managing Director of HVPD, said:

“The DECC grant will help HVPD to develop our new Offshore High Voltage Network Monitoring System (OHVMS) ‘holistic’ electrical condition monitoring technology for the offshore wind farms subsea cable networks. The technology will be developed over an 18-month period through a consortium led by HVPD and including RWE Npower, NAREC and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham.

“The OHVMS system will provide an advanced, ‘early warning’ alarm against MV/HV cable insulation faults to support preventative, cable repair maintenance interventions and to improve the reliability and availability of this important source of renewables electricity.

“The DECC funding will enable HVPD to significantly reduce the development time for the new OHVMS condition monitoring system with the DECC project scheduled for completion in 18 months (to pre-production) whilst, it is predicted that without the grant, HVPD would have required a 4-year development period to finance and deliver the project.”

Chief Executive Officer of JDR Andrew Norman said:

“We are delighted that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has recognised JDR’s capabilities in the field of inter array cables and awarded funding to support our new research into high voltage array cabling for offshore wind farms.

“The project will help drive down the cost of each megawatt of power produced by an offshore wind farm to make this source of renewable power more cost-effective and competitive.

“Our work will also benefit the environment through the introduction of alternative materials in the design of high voltage cables. DECC’s involvement is a positive affirmation of support for the UK offshore wind industry and we look forward to starting work on this exciting project and contributing towards the future growth of this vital industry.”

Alla Weinstein CEO of Principle Power said:

“This DECC funding will allow Principle Power to advance the design of the WindFloat specifically for the UK market, with focus on meeting the Offshore Wind Task Force levelised cost of energy targets.

“The WindFloat’s innovative features allow offshore wind installations, independent of water depth, where the wind is stronger and more consistent. The WindFloat eliminates the need for seabed-disturbing foundation structures and can be sited to avoid conflicts with other marine uses.

“The WindFloat offers considerable economic advantages because it is suitable for serial production manufacturing and on-shore commissioning of the a fully assembled system – floating foundation and the turbine. With nearly 55% of UK Round 3 sites having water depth of greater than 40 meters, project developers and utilities can realise significant economic benefits from WindFloat systems and reduced complexity in their project contracts.

“Principle Power will be working with TAG Energy Solutions, its project partner, on defining methodology for the WindFloat serial production using UK based industrial infrastructure.”

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Press Release , March 01 , 2013