GE and ORE “Stay Ashore!”

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 20/11/2018 ORE Catapult

GE Renewable Energy and the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have formed a £9 million four-year research partnership aimed at minimising the time people have to spend offshore. This is expected to enhance both safety and operating costs for offshore wind farms.

The “Stay Ashore!” programme is built on three pillars:
  • Reliability by design, which is primarily focused on validation of key wind turbine components.
  • Enabling full remote operability and troubleshooting of the turbines through advanced digital functionality, to reduce the need to go offshore for unplanned events.
  • Use of robotics for planned maintenance events, specifically repetitive tasks, inspection activities as well as activities in areas that are difficult to access.
This partnership is aimed at reducing the operating costs of offshore wind, which will benefit electricity consumers.

The partnership is part of GE’s broader offshore wind strategy for the UK. It aims to collaborate with local partners to drive down the cost of electricity and improve reliability of offshore wind projects.

John Lavelle, president & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business, said: “By eliminating unplanned offshore human intervention through increasing productivity with digital and robotic tools, in addition to our Haliade-X 12 MW performance and design features, we will contribute significantly to reducing the cost of offshore wind energy.”

The ongoing collaboration between GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult also aims to launch technology innovation challenges UK Small to Medium Enterprises and academic community, including robotics, blade and tower inspections and repair processes.

ORE Catapult Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson said: “This further strengthening of ORE Catapult’s partnership with GE Renewable Energy will see significant investment in nationally important R&D, growing not only our expertise but providing opportunities for the UK supply chain to capture domestic and international market share in an offshore wind market expected to be worth £30 ($39) billion per year by 2030.”