Black Start Demonstration from Offshore Wind (SIF BLADE)

Investigating and demonstrating how offshore wind can restore onshore electricity grid following a blackout. 


With the urgent need for the decarbonisation of the world's electricity networks, the role of offshore wind is increasing dramatically. However, it is not just essential to increase the capacity of offshore wind on our networks; we must also increase the capability of offshore wind, particularly the capability to provide key electrical support services to the onshore grid. 

One such key support service, is “black start” or “system restoration”. 

Restoration is the process used to restore power in the event of an outage (or “blackout”) of the electricity transmission system and is crucial to the resilience of the UK’s electricity grid, and hence energy security. Black start must come from technologies which can restart without reliance on external supplies. In the coming decades, many generating stations that are conventional providers of black start are retiring and being replaced with offshore wind.  Without proven capability from offshore, this therefore leaves the grid, and hence energy consumers, vulnerable.  

The SIF BLADE project was set up to pave the way to offshore wind to provide restoration services. To achieve this, the Carbon Trust has brought together leading network companies, offshore wind farm developers, and technology suppliers.  The project has been competitively awarded funding by Ofgem's Strategic Innovation Fund.

The project will investigate and demonstrate the technical developments required for offshore wind farms to contribute to system restoration, and aims to provide a clear commercial path to the provision of restoration services from offshore wind, while demonstrating the benefit to the energy consumers.

Project end date 

June 2023 (Discovery Phase)

April 2024 (Alpha Phase) 

Project lead 

SP Energy Networks

Project partners 

SSEN Transmission, National HVDC Centre, University of Strathclyde, Carbon Trust, EnBW, Equinor, Ocean Winds, Ørsted, RWE, Scottish Power Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, TotalEnergies, and Vattenfall, together with funding from Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund.  

Advisory panel 

National Grid ESO, RTE, TenneT, Siemens Energy, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.