Catapult opens new £2m offshore wind research center in China

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult), in partnership with Chinese firms, has opened a new £2m joint UK-China research center in Yantai City, China.
Catapult stated that the new TUS-ORE Catapult Research Centre (TORC) will serve as a major technology research and development center to support the development of offshore wind industries in the UK and China.

The center will work on collaborative research programmes, supporting market entry and incubation for UK businesses in China. It will also offer commercial support for Chinese offshore wind developers and support the demonstration of new technologies on a 300MW windfarm in the Shandong Province.

TORC is a joint venture between ORE Catapult, TUS Wind Technology and TUS Mingshi Science and Innovation. The aim of the research facility is to explore the design and manufacture of new generation components for improved reliability of wind turbines.

It will also focus on new installation technologies to lessen costs and risks associated with wind farm installation, including technologies relating to foundation installation, cable trenching and environmental issues.

The research programs to be carried out by the new center will cover improved operations & maintenance technologies for wind farm inspection and monitoring.

ORE Catapult CEO Andrew Jamieson said: “Our new Research Centre, in partnership with TUS, will support UK businesses as they take advantage of a new wave of opportunities to engage with one of the fastest-growing offshore wind markets in the world – and present a fantastic opportunity to develop a supply chain that can compete on a global scale.

“With more than a decade of experience and expertise in this sector, and global exports expected to be worth £2.6bn a year by 2030 for UK companies, now is the time for innovative companies to act and establish themselves at the heart of the Chinese market.”

With the Chinese government investing $100bn in wind projects by 2020, China is projected to become the world’s largest offshore wind market by 2030.

In February, European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) agreed to support Qingdao Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM) for the development of first wave and tidal test centre for marine energy converters (MECs) in China.

The test center will be located in the Shandong Provence, south of Qingdao near Zhaitang Island.