Innovative North East engineering company, OSBIT Power (OP), has been confirmed as a successful bidder to a major Government scheme to support manufacturers developing next generation offshore wind technology.
OP, based in Riding Mill, Northumberland has been awarded a £615,000 grant to help develop its MaXccess offshore wind access technology to facilitate safe personnel transfer from the larger dynamically positioned vessels that are expected to be used on future offshore wind projects.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “The coalition is determined to drive ambitious green growth and this is putting our money where our mouth is. This cash shows we are delivering on our commitment to support innovation and offshore wind. Making wind turbines more efficient is common sense and will help bring down the costs making them more attractive to build and helping us increase the amount of electricity we get from clean, green sources. It’s great to see OSBIT Power Ltd stepping up to the challenge to ensure offshore wind energy is produced in the most cost effective way”
Dr Tony Trapp, CEO of OSBIT Power comments: “We established OP in 2010 with the aim of creating a step change in offshore access technologies. During the subsequent 18 months our team of innovative engineers developed the MaXccess 11 system to solve the current challenge of gaining safer, more weather tolerant, access from the existing fleet of vessels used to access wind turbines. Following a rapid development programme, the first MaXccess 11 system was produced in summer 2011. This system has recently been successfully trialled offshore in Norway in conjunction with Siemens Wind Power and Statoil, proving its ability to provide safer, more weather tolerant access.
“For future offshore wind projects larger vessels will be needed, operating further from shore, in more difficult sea conditions. To meet the challenge of gaining access to turbines from these vessels OP is developing MaXccess – Heavy Boat System (HBS). MaXccess HBS builds on the technology developed in the current MaXccess system, to allow operation from dynamically positioned vessels that are too large to contact turbines directly.”
The funding award is being made under DECC and the Technology Strategy Board’s Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration Scheme. The scheme aims to support innovative companies to develop and demonstrate novel technologies that will lead to cost reduction in offshore wind energy, and increase deployment levels by 2020, and in the following decade.
Dr Trapp continues: “There is a clear need to reduce costs and increase safety in offshore wind. We are delighted with the award of funding from the Offshore Wind Development and Demonstration scheme, which recognises both the innovative abilities of OP, and the need to develop access technology to meet the accessibility challenges that will be faced in future projects. NE England has vital strengths in offshore wind technology, and this funding will strengthen our ability to bring this exciting product to market and accelerate the development of MaXccess HBS in preparation for the coming construction, and operation, of Round 3 in the UK, and projects across the world.”
Source: OSBIT Power, April 12, 2012