Three of the projects chosen by ETI, a partnership between global industries and the UK Government, will focus on designing offshore wind turbine technology, while the fourth will demonstrate a new commercial scale tidal turbine. These, and future projects, have the potential to deliver cheaper renewable electricity from 2020 onwards.
The initiative is also geared at making the UK more energy efficient, protecting energy supplies for present and future generations, and improving the country’s skills base.
ETI projects aim to attract people to centres of excellence in low carbon energy – in academia and industry. The projects bring together universities, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large corporates, leading consultancies and ETI members.
While offshore wind and marine technologies are the focus of the first round of projects to be funded, the ETI is also addressing the areas of transport, distributed energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and energy networks.
The funding for the projects comes from the six current private sector partners: BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The ETI’s public funds are received from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) with additional funding from the Department for Transport.
The first four projects that will receive ETI funding totalling approximately £20 million are:
- Project Nova: A UK-based consortium led by OTM Consulting aiming to assess the feasibility of a unique wind turbine with a pair of giant vertical wings, which has the benefit of ruggedness, stability and simpler maintenance access, compared to the horizontal axis concept of conventional turbines.
- Project Helm Wind: A UK-based consortium led by E.ON Engineering aiming to deliver a concept design and feasibility study for a new offshore-specific wind farm and seeks to overcome the issues facing today’s systems including turbine reliability and accessing equipment for maintenance.
- Project Deepwater Turbine: A consortium led by Blue H aiming to design and determine the feasibility and potential of an integrated solution for a 5 MW floating, offshore wind turbine for deepwater deployments between 30m and 300m.
- Project ReDAPT: A UK-based consortium led by Rolls-Royce aiming to install and test a 1 MW tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, delivering detailed environmental and performance information in real sea conditions.