With the urgent need for decarbonisation, global offshore wind capacity is expected to increase dramatically. 

Power lines

Innovation is required to facilitate the rapid rollout of non-synchronous generation and prevent grid balancing and stability challenges. Without new solutions, onshore grids will become weaker, which will lead to issues in system operation. These issues include:

  • Increased likelihood of instability events;
  • Increased need for imported electricity;
  • Maintaining reliance on synchronous fossil fuel generators on stand-by.

Preliminary work conducted within the Offshore Wind Accelerator, identified an opportunity to enable offshore wind farms to play a role in stabilising the onshore network using innovative technologies. 

The INCENTIVE project was set up to build on this opportunity. Competitively awarded funding from Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund, the project is investigating how the electrical grid can be strengthened by installing innovative energy storage and converter technologies at the point of onshore grid connection. 

To build commercial confidence in the technologies, the project has three phases. The Discovery Phase was successfully conducted in early 2022, shortlisting technology solutions to undergo further business case development and technical testing in the Alpha Phase, which kicked off in August 2022. The third and final phase (Beta Phase) will implement field testing of the technologies and will look to kick off in March 2023, subject to funding approval. 

Project end date

January 2023 (Alpha Phase)

Project lead

SSE Networks Transmission

Project partners

SSE Networks Transmission, National Grid ESO, University of Strathclyde, The Carbon Trust, EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, TotalEnergies and Vattenfall, together with funding from Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund.

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Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA)

Rob Keast

Robert Keast, Project Manager