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ORE Catapult - Giving Wings to Wind

ORE Catapult - Giving Wings to Wind

As part of VisitScotlands Legends campaign, which showcases the world leading research and technology at work across Scotland's key sectors, we spoke to Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) about the use of cutting edge technology in the development and research of off shore wind energy.

To learn more about the incredible work taking place in Scotland and to learn why Scotland is the perfect destination for your next conference or event, visit the Legends website, or send an email to | | #ideasbecomelegend

ORE Catapult is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for advancing wind, wave and tidal energy. 

Scotland has huge potential to do even more with wind power. With 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource, and a network of ports and harbours close to northern Europe, Scotland is ideally placed to develop offshore wind. Our universities and energy hubs are engaged in world class renewable energy research, development and demonstration and have the ambition, experience and commitment to be a global leader in offshore wind.

Offshore renewable energy is an important and fast growing industry. Energy Park Fife, a world leading facility at the forefront of Scotland’s renewables industry, is home to The Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine - a 7MW (megawatt) offshore test turbine developed by South Korean electronics giant Samsung, owned by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. 

The Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine is the world’s largest open access wind turbine dedicated to research, and offers industry and academia an unrivaled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of technologies as well as the operations and maintenance aspects of offshore wind turbines, with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of energy and improving efficiency and yield from wind turbines.


Andrew Jamieson, ORE Catapult CEO:

“ We are engaging extensively with academia, industry and public sector organisations to deliver maximum value from the Turbine, and have received extremely high interest for collaborative projects from not only Scotland but the wider UK, US and European programmes.
“We also recognise a complementary and parallel opportunity to utilise the turbine for skills development and training, and will work closely with local stakeholders to make this a reality and ensure substantial local benefit”.


ORE Catapult’s Fife facility is already a demonstration hub for businesses across the UK to test their designs on a next-generation 7 Megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine, enabling them to take advantage of the Catapult’s expertise and its industry and academic partnerships. Support from the Scottish Government is also establishing a lidar (laser-based radar) test facility, and facilitating the creation of a ‘virtual wind-farm’. Research is also being developed into multiple facets of offshore wind, including Blades, Drive Trains, Electrical Infrastructure and condition monitoring systems.

Developing this resource will play a vital role in meeting the Scottish Government’s target of generating the equivalent of 100% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020. Support for the renewable energy industry is strong, and sustained investment in the sector has helped renewable energy overtake nuclear power as Scotland’s main source of electricity. 

ORE Catapult is also committed to lowering the cost of renewable energy, a major barrier to ensuring long term viability of wind as Scotland's primary means of generating electricity. A major, international €4 million research collaboration between 10 European partners is leading the development of seven novel offshore wind turbine blade technologies, which collectively could lower the Levelised Cost Of Energy (LCOE) of offshore wind by as much as 4.7%.

The Offshore Demonstration Blade (ODB) project is supporting the research, development and demonstration of wind turbine blade innovations, including aerodynamic and structural enhancements, blade monitoring systems and blade erosion protection solutions. These products will be developed and retrofitted to the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Scotland for demonstration purposes. The innovations will then be ready for deployment on existing or new offshore turbines.

Operations and maintenance costs represent almost a quarter of the total LCOE of an offshore wind turbine, with rotor operations and maintenance, specifically blade erosion and blade structural integrity, representing a large share of these costs. Therefore, improving the performance and operational lifetime of turbine blades will have a direct impact on lowering LCOE.

The ODB project is funded through 'Demowind', an international consortium of EU Governments and Energy bodies & will be coordinated by ORE Catapult. The project will involve leading organisations in wind turbine innovation including CENER, Bladena, TNO, Aerox, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Total Wind, Dansk IngeniørService A/S (DIS), the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Cardenal Herrera University (CEU) in Spain.

Chris Hill, Operational Performance Director at ORE Catapult:

This project aims to develop a number of innovative technologies that have huge potential to further reduce the cost of offshore wind. Having a dedicated platform on which to demonstrate these technologies, the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine, will improve our understanding of how they operate in real-world conditions and the impact they will have on blade performance, operations and cost of energy.”



With thanks to Andrew Jamieson and everyone at ORE Catapult | | #ideasbecomelegend

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