Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – collaborating to bring the most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world to market, enabling accelerated deployment of offshore wind to meet the UK’s net zero ambition, record low energy prices, unlocking billions in investment, thousands of green jobs and research, product and service development.
In March 2018, GE announced an ambitious plan to bring its disruptive Haliade-X offshore wind turbine to market in little over two years, which they achieved thanks to the pivotal role of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and its world-leading test and validation facilities in Blyth.
This enabled supply of the turbine to the world’s largest wind farm, Dogger Bank, unlocking over £9 billion in project finance and delivering record-low energy prices for the project in 2019 – the lowest ever seen for a UK offshore wind farm.
Developments like Dogger Bank provide the foundation from which the UK can achieve net zero, creating momentum for a strong UK supply chain, thousands of jobs and paving the way for large-scale, indigenous manufacturing.
The long-term partnership between the Catapult and GE has delivered a £6 million combined investment in the Catapult’s unique Grid Emulation system, enabling integration of offshore wind into future energy systems; a £9 million R&D collaboration, ‘Stay Ashore’; £500k investment over four years in UK academia, and access and direct benefit to UK SMEs in the development and commercialisation of innovative products and services for the offshore wind industry.
As a direct consequence of the success of the market entry of Haliade-X, Equinor announced their Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base will be in the North East, less than 30 minutes from Blyth, creating 200 jobs.
Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and GE’s ‘Stay Ashore’ R&D collaboration is pioneering technology innovation for safer and more reliable operation of offshore wind farms and developing the UK supply chain in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence and digitalisation.