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€15 million in EU funding won by Beaufort Research, UCC for Offshore Wind Project

Minister Sherlock announces start of Logistic Efficiencies & Naval architecture for Wind Installations with Novel Developments (LEANWIND) project at launch of Horizon 2020

 Pictured at the launch of the LEANWIND Project  on 10th December 2013 from left to right:     Dr. Jimmy Murphy (Head of Offshore Wind Group, Beaufort Research, UCC), Séan Sherlock (Minister for Research & Innovation), and Katie Lynch (Research Engineer, Beaufort Research, UCC)© Gary O'Neill


Pictured at the launch of the LEANWIND Project on 10th December 2013 from left to right:
Dr. Jimmy Murphy (Head of Offshore Wind Group, Beaufort Research, UCC), Séan Sherlock (Minister for Research & Innovation), and Katie Lynch (Research Engineer, Beaufort Research, UCC)© Gary O’Neill

Sean Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research and Innovation has welcomed the success of Beaufort Research, University College Cork in securing €15million in EU funding to co-ordinate LEANWIND, a new Offshore Wind Project.

The LEANWIND project seeks to reduce costs for offshore wind farm developments and make offshore wind competitive with traditional energy sources.  LEANWIND will look at new ways to transport components, manage and organise the port efficiently, adapt fixed and floating turbine structures to aid installation and consider new technologies to maintain the wind farm.

Making the announcement at the Irish launch of Horizon 2020 in Dublin today (10th December 2013) Minister Sherlock said “The LEANWIND project represents a significant win for UCC and presents a great opportunity for the Irish energy sector. The offshore wind industry is estimated to be worth €130billion by 2020[1]. Despite the European economic downturn, the wind energy sector employed around 238,000 in 2010[2], with job predictions set to increase to 520,000 in 2020 and 794,079 in 2030”.

Offshore wind energy can play a key role in stimulating growth and investment in Europe over the next decade, and its position as first-mover in the industry creates significant export potential to develop international markets. The successful deployment of Leanwind brings with it the potential for Ireland to become a key service provider to the global offshore wind industry. ” said Minister Sherlock.

Dr. Jimmy Murphy of Beaufort Research said “The most significant issue facing the offshore wind industry at present is achieving cost reduction and this is at the core of LEANWIND.  The presence of Irish research groups and SME’s in this project ensures that we will have the knowledge and expertise to directly participate and benefit economically when Irelands vast offshore wind resource is being developed.”

A principal aim of the project is to develop niche markets, thereby creating sustainable long term employment in offshore wind for the Irish and European shipping industries.  From an Irish perspective LEANWIND will create research jobs and will help to develop commercial opportunities for Irish companies in the offshore wind sector.

Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces, Rear Admiral Mark Mellett commended Beaufort Research, UCC “who in collaboration with the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster is helping drive Ireland’s Maritime Economy.  The project provides a perfect example of how the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence through platforms such as the Defence Enterprise Committee can provide technical advice to research institutes that can lead to real impact and job creation.”

Ireland has one of the best offshore wind resources in Europe and some of the most attractive shallow water, near-shore sites for commercial development in the Irish Sea. To date Ireland has had a very minor role in this industry with only seven offshore wind turbines in total compared to 870 installed offshore the UK coastline at the end of 2012[3]. It is imperative that Ireland develops the necessary capabilities now or it will lose out to the other countries investing heavily in this industry

The LEANWIND project was awarded to Beaufort Research in University College Cork (UCC), against tough competition from consortia of partners well-established in the offshore wind industry. The project is worth €10million in European Commission funding and €15million in total funding.  This multi-national project involves 31 partners from 11 countries, which includes 4 Irish partners; two third level institutions (UCC and Cork Institute of Technology), and two companies (Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions Ltd and Arklow Marine Services).

LEANWIND Project

The LEANWIND project seeks to reduce costs for offshore wind farm developments and make offshore wind competitive with traditional energy sources.

The work programme will apply “lean” principles to streamline procedures and develop new technologies and tools to improve efficiency, and will thus address current and future industry challenges to help make offshore wind a competitive source of energy. The focus of the work will be in the areas of substructure and vessel design, wind farm logistics and economics, Operation & Maintenance, Health & Safety and business models.

The work includes developing new vessels and equipment similar to those designed and built by LEANWIND partner Arklow Marine Services and looking at the use of ship bridge simulators for training such as those installed in the National Maritime College of Ireland.


For more information contact: leanwind@ucc.ie

Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Beaufort Research, UCC 086-8347853

 

 

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