Carbon Trust calls for expressions of interest in new competition to develop black start capabilities for offshore wind turbines

five offshore wind turbines at dusk

The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), a collaborative R&D programme funded by nine leading offshore wind developers and the Scottish Government, has today announced a call for expressions of interest in its new global innovation competition, aiming to develop and enhance black start capabilities for offshore wind turbines.

With the increasing move towards renewable generation, there is a need to explore how offshore wind turbines can be used to supply all the auxiliary power to restart wind farms, and then to restart parts of the electricity grid that have completely lost power.

This competition is designed to provide a signal to the market that black start capabilities are now required for offshore wind turbines, encouraging innovators to consider how they can develop a technology solution that could form a key part of the low carbon energy system of the future.

To demonstrate their commitment, the OWA members are willing to sponsor developments that meet their specifications. The competition objective is to identify, qualify and rapidly de-risk innovative, cost effective, maintenance-friendly, reliable and low carbon solutions that provide black start capabilities for offshore wind.

Offshore wind farms can play an important role in restarting the electricity grid, helping to replace the diesel generators that are currently required to deliver black start services. With this call, we hope that we find yet another innovative way to help accelerate the development of the offshore wind industry and reduce carbon emissions, while future proofing a grid increasingly made up of renewable sources.

- Rory Shanahan, Project Manager - Electrical Systems Research Area, The Carbon Trust

The competition entries will be assessed by an expert panel from the OWA. The Scottish Government and the nine OWA developer partners are providing up to £300,000 to support successful innovative solutions.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 13:30 GMT Friday 2 March 2018.