Launched in October 2020, the Development Grants competition was the largest OWGP funding call to date – offering grants of up to £500 000 to UK off-shore wind supply chain companies for projects that will unlock significant growth potential in UK content, jobs, and export opportunities.
The five companies come from across the UK and represent different offshore wind supply chain areas, from fabrication and turbine assembly to wind farm surveillance and bolt maintenance.
CASC, based in Northern Ireland, is responsible for mobilising and demobilising the pre-assembly activities for the largest offshore wind farms across the world. Its OWGP project will enable full automation of manufacturing processes to increase capability and output through investment in new equipment.
Cambridge Vacuum Engineering is a specialist manufacturer of Electron Beam (EB) welding systems across a range of sectors. The company’s OWGP project RapidCircWeld, in partnership with Global Energy Group, will focus on developing its novel Reduced Pressure Electron Beam (RPEB) welding process for circumferential welds on offshore wind monopiles, towers and tubular floating foundations.
EchoBolt has successfully developed and commercialised an advanced ultra-sonic bolt inspection technique for offshore wind turbines. Project BoltWatch, funded by OWGP, will develop its existing in-house cloud data platform into a fully integrated customer product, enabling customers to actively track an asset’s condition and incorporate other data streams and self-perform EchoBolt inspections.
LiveLink Aerospace specialise in innovation to facilitate safer air operations and carbon-neutral air transport. OWGP funding will be used to determine the feasibility of using the company’s onshore Air Surveillance Systems to facilitate safe next-generation aviation around offshore wind farms, together with 'smart' environmental and wildlife monitoring.
Sedwell Ltd specialises in developing bolting solutions for safety and performance-critical assets. OWGP funding will support its InterBoltTM solution – an IIoT sensing technology embedded into bolts that will allow remote monitoring of bolt load on offshore turbines, thereby eliminating the need for manual inspection.
Melanie Onn, Deputy Chief Executive of RenewableUK, said: “Well-targeted grant funding like this is continuing to accelerate the growth and the strength of the UK's offshore wind supply chain. It’s great to see so many UK companies already benefitting from the support available through the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, enabling them to develop products and services which will help to revolutionise the way we build, operate and maintain our world-class offshore wind farms – as well as exporting our much sought-after goods and expertise to new projects around the world
The OWGP’s grant funding portfolio now consists of 22 projects, each bringing unique benefits to the UK offshore wind sector, creating jobs and unlocking UK export opportunities. This number is expected to grow exponentially throughout the next 10 years as a continuous pipeline of competitive funding rounds are released, enabling significant UK supply chain growth to 2030 and beyond.
Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/wind/06072021/uk-companies-to-receive-grants-from-owgp/