UK based offshore renewables technology innovation center, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has reportedly been granted a 10-year extension to run a turbine for development in research and technology. The Scottish Government has granted a variation of Section 36 consent to run the 7-MW Levenmouth offshore wind demonstration turbine in Fife until 2029.

ORE Catapult can continue to provide the UK industry and academia with a prospect to advance new technologies and have a deeper insight in operating and maintaining the offshore wind turbines, with an aim to create more jobs and lower the cost of energy.

The turbine operations have provided assistance to over 50 UK companies with access for technology development, demonstration and validation or access to data and information since the last four years. The combined value of the ongoing projects related to the turbine is more than £11M (US$14M).

The Catapult’s activities have brought forward a lot of support from the Scottish Government, along with a funding of £685,000 to run SME technology demonstration ventures and establish data sharing initiatives.

Andrew Jamieson, chief executive officer of ORE Catapult, said in a statement that this consent extension is quite an unexpected welcome. He added further that small companies that are looking into the offshore wind market experience a huge hurdle in accessing real-world operational sites to examine and demonstrate new products and services.

Sources close to the matter affirmed that offshore windfarm operations are indeed largely dependent on technicians to inspect and monitor components. Lowering turbine downtime and specializing in operations and maintenance (O&M) tasks is quite a priority for the industry, the sources further stated.

If authentic reports are to be relied on, the Catapult has scheduled a workshop on the 18th of September 2018 with an aim to provide ventures specializing in remote supervisory systems with novel opportunities.