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6th March 2020

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult: Everything You Need to Know

The UK is at the forefront of wind power, with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult leading the way for businesses to transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

As the world leader in offshore wind, we have more wind farms installed for our country’s capacity than anywhere else. Already, our offshore wind powers the equivalent of 4.5 million homes, and we’re not stopping there.

What is the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult?

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, or ORE, is a technological innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. They are a team of over 140 consultants, researchers, designers, developers and testers that work alongside businesses to help them create offshore renewable energy technology.

Founded in 2003, they have two bases in Glasgow and Blythe, which is in Northumberland.

What do the ORE do?

The ORE Catapult works in partnership with businesses – from micro enterprises to the UK Government –  to create, implement and later commercialise renewable energy technology.

Utilising their expertise and facilities, they work alongside the heavyweights of the offshore renewables industry – from the industrial suppliers to the owners – to improve existing technologies and develop newer ones in the UK.

The Catapult also encourages new companies and technologies to follow the same development process by applying research created in their own academic base.

They have worked alongside approximately 600 SMEs (small to medium enterprises), have completed over 250 research projects (with another 100 on the way), and have supported over 140 companies in their renewable product development.

How does the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult work?

The Catapult is divided into three sectors:

  1. The Operations and Performance sector works with the owners and operators of renewable energy equipment manufacturers. Specialising in Operations and Maintenance, they drive improvements in fleets of existing wind farms to make them more efficient, longer-lasting and optimised to keep the UK at the forefront of offshore renewable energy.
  2. The Testing and Validation sector applies their expertise to support the development of renewable technologies, working with researchers, industrial partners and innovators to drive the development of new technologies and optimising existing ones.
  3. The Research and Innovation sector supports the development and commercialisation of renewable technologies through applied research, in collaboration with UK academia and small enterprises.

What are their plans for the future?

The Catapult wants to be the world’s leading offshore renewable energy technology centre. They’ve already announced plans to expand to Lincolnshire and the Humber area, creating between 50 to 70 jobs and enriching the local community in the next ten years.

In the immediate future, they have plans to take on 70 more employees and create new centres in Hull, Fife, and South Wales. They also want to expand to four academic research hubs to continue working in their 55 research positions.

How does this affect us in the long term?

From the perspective of Lincolnshire locals, we couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of the Catapult working so close to Myenergi HQ in the coming years.

The opportunity to enrich the local community and breathe life into industrial areas such as Grimsby is a cause very close to our hearts.

On a national level, the creation of a streamlined, controlled and globally industry-leading supplier of offshore renewable energy being based in the UK is fantastic for all of us.

The Catapult predicts that the UK is capable of generating enough offshore energy to power the entire country, with even more spare to export to Europe – benefiting our UK economy too.

On a global level, the dawn of renewable energy is upon us – giving us all hope for the future, and something to be proud of.

And lastly…

It gives us a real sense of joy and hope at Myenergi to see real, industrial-level change being implemented throughout the country to generate renewable energy that will soon become accessible to all. Our fight to protect our planet isn’t easy, but with companies like the ORE Catapult leading the way, there is the chance for real optimism looking towards the future.

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