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This month's dispatch from the leading edge of offshore wind, wave and tidal innovation - delivered straight to your inbox.


Catapult launches first UK coastal lidar test site


Wood's Galion lidar undergoes testing at Levenmouth.

Wood has successfully completed the first commercial lidar test at the Catapult's new UK test and verification facility.

The 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine's onshore met mast is the only open-access facility in the UK that offers lidar testing, demonstration and verification against high-quality, representative offshore wind resources. Developed with support from the Scottish Government, it can accommodate up to four systems at any time.

Tests on Wood's Galion system were completed two months ahead of schedule. "We are extremely grateful to be the first company to utilise the test site for the performance verification of one of our Galion Lidar G250 models," said Alan Mortimer, Wood's Director of Innovation, "We envisage many more lidar performance verifications at this test site in the months and years ahead.”

Read the full story on our website

Fight the Scour: self-installing protection system could save millions

Diagram-of-the-scour-protection-system-1600x1261SISProtect's scour protection system.

A £1m project to develop an innovative self-installing scour protection system could save the average wind farm approximately £8.6m over its lifetime.


The Innovate UK-backed Self-Installing Scour Protection for Offshore Wind Farms (SISProtect) project, led by Seabed Scour Control Systems (SCSS), will see six industry partners collaborate to design and install the system at ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia One.

Protection and prevention against scour is vital for offshore wind owner/operators. The foundation-weakening phenomenon occurs when underwater structures are subjected to currents and waves.


"By pre-installing the system offshore and deploying at the same time as the foundation installation, this innovation will remove the need for the quarrying of rocks and diesel-intensive vessels, while providing a lower-cost alternative," said Adam Tucker, SCSS's Subsea Division Manager.

Read the full story on our website

New Innovation Challenges shine spotlight on sector priorities

Lightning Strike Damage
Lightning strike damage at an offshore wind farm.


The Catapult has issued a trio of new Innovation Challenges, calling on UK innovators to solve problems from lightning protection system inspection to bolt tightening.

Our operations and maintenance experts have identified the three areas as key to further increasing the safety of offshore wind technicians, and all three give companies large and small the opportunity to pitch their emerging technologies for a slice of the  potential £30bn global export market.


With lightning strike damage a significant risk for owner/operators, the first challenge focuses on developing an innovative, cost-effective solution for inspecting blade lightning protection systems. 

Yaw misalignment is also an increasing problem, especially with ageing offshore wind assets. The Catapult is challenging innovators to develop a solution that can detect and solve misalignment across the UK offshore wind fleet.

The third challenge focuses on a remotely-operated solution for tightening the vast number of bolts that hold the UK's turbines together.

If you think you or your company has the answer, use the link below to find out more and submit your application.

Find out more and register


Airborne wind Analysis & Insight: no longer pie in the sky

Makani Airborne Wind Turbine
Makani's prototype energy kite rests on its perch at a test site in Hawai'i.

With viable devices in testing around the world, airborne wind is no longer a pie in the sky idea.

Here, electricity is generated by adding lift or drag to an airborne device and passed energy down the tether electrically or mechanically. The lightweight nature of airborne wind allows for a step change in the levelised cost of energy (LCoE), especially when looking offshore. These reductions have been quantified, and the data shows that airborne wind has a potential LCoE of £30/MWh by 2030.


This paper, by Stephanie Mann, provides a high-level introduction to how airborne wind works, the two main technology types, trends in the industry, and explores how airborne wind offers cost advantages when compared to traditional bottom-fixed offshore wind farms.


Download An Introduction to Airborne Wind

IEA Wind Event: Improving Component Reliability


The event takes place in Blyth on 4th April.
Alongside the Universities of Strathclyde and Manchester, the Catapult is hosting an IEA Wind Task 11 Topical Expert Meeting on improving the reliability of electrical infrastructure components, with a focus on cables.
At the component level, the offshore environment is a challenging place to minimise maintenance costs and deliver reliable operation. Some of the most costly component interruptions to system availability, and therefore a significant scope for improvement, are static and dynamic offshore power cables. 

We'd like to see involvement from academia, research institutes, OEMs, wind farm owner/operators, cable manufacturers and installers. All attendees will be asked to present their experience in one of the listed topic areas. The meeting takes place at ORE Catapult's National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth on 4th April 2019.

Register Your  Place Now

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