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Flotation Energy plc today (Tuesday August 16) welcomed UK Government Minister for Scotland Lord Malcolm Offord to the Port of Aberdeen with its innovation partners SENSEWind and ERM Dolphyn to share their plans to accelerate offshore wind development in Scotland.

SENSEWind and ERM Dolphyn have received substantial development funding totaling approximately £20 million from the UK Government across multiple projects to trial their technologies: a self-erecting nacelle; and the manufacture of green hydrogen by electrolysis. SENSEWind intend to test a floating wind turbine on site at Kincardine Offshore Windfarm. The ERM Dolphyn project will develop the design of a commercial scale demonstrator of floating offshore wind combined with hydrogen production, with Kincardine Offshore Windfarm as a potential location. These projects will result in an investment of £100 million in Northeast Scotland.

The Kincardine Offshore Windfarm test and demonstration site is currently the largest floating wind farm in the world and will remain the largest Grid connected floating windfarm until the second half of the decade. Flotation Energy has been key to pioneering several technologies at the site – enabling the wider industry to benefit from their practical experience in the construction and operation of floating offshore windfarms. They are keen that the site continues to act as a test bed for emerging technologies with lessons learned shared around the world to help decarbonise our energy systems at pace.

Minister Offord said:

“It was fascinating to see such a large-scale facility in operation and learn more about the energy technology being developed here in Scotland.”

“The UK led the way in the oil and gas industry and now it’s leading the way in the global transition to newer, cleaner energy sources as part of our energy security plan. It’s heartening to see that so much is being done in the North Sea to push forward wind, tidal and hydrogen energy and how UK Government investment is accelerating these developments.”

The SENSE concept (stands for Self-Erecting Nacelle and Service) looks to upend the conventional approach to installation and Operations & Maintenance by eliminating the need for special cranes and allowing the full Rotor Nacelle Assembly to be installed and serviced directly on site. It will also prototype Tension Leg Platform technology and micro piling. Technologies that will be important as the industry moves towards deep water floating projects. The Kincardine site will prove the technology as a way of reducing the cost of installing and servicing massive and increasingly remote wind turbines. ERM Dolphyn has developed a concept design to produce large scale ‘green’ hydrogen from offshore floating wind. The ERM Dolphyn concept employs a modular design, integrating electrolysis and a wind turbine on a moored floating sub-structure to produce hydrogen from seawater using wind power as the energy source and exporting the hydrogen via a pipeline. To meet carbon targets in the UK and more widely around the world, it is now increasingly accepted that hydrogen needs to be a significant component in any viable long-term solution for heat, electricity generation and transport. And with rising energy prices for consumers, keeping down production costs for renewables is also essential. Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: “The UK Government is accelerating our move towards cleaner, home-grown energy, to end our dependency on expensive and volatile fossil fuels.” “The UK Government is therefore backing projects like these, supporting green innovation in Scotland, developing offshore wind and hydrogen as part of our plans to boost our energy security.” This latest round of funding will see Aberdeen continue to be a technical hub for the emerging renewables industry; and secure Scotland as the pathfinder to addressing the key challenges in the floating wind sector.

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