Wind innovation winner announced

Published on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 11:18
Posted by Scott Buckler

A world-leading gear engineering and manufacturing company has been confirmed as the first successful bidder to a major Government scheme to support manufacturers developing next generation offshore wind technology

David Brown Gear Systems (David Brown), whose UK facility is in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, has been awarded a £1.2m grant to help develop its 7MW offshore wind turbine gearbox.

David Brown’s innovative technology will be used for Samsung Heavy Industries’ new turbine.  The gearbox, through its low weight and compact design, can improve cost of ownership and ultimately lower the cost of energy for wind turbine operators.

It is the first company to be awarded funding under DECC and the Technology Strategy Board’s Offshore Wind Component Technologies Innovation scheme which is worth around £5m. Launched last November, the scheme aims to help innovators with novel ideas to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

The coalition is determined to drive ambitious green growth and this is putting our money where our mouth is. This cash shows we are really shifting gear  when it comes to supporting innovation and offshore wind.  Making wind turbines more efficient is common sense and will help bring down the costs making them more attractive to build and helping us increase the amount of electricity we get from clean, green sources. It’s great to see David Brown Gear Systems stepping up to the challenge to ensure wind turbines work in the most efficient way.”

Ian Farquhar, Managing Director Wind Energy, David Brown Gear Systems said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Offshore Wind Components Technologies Innovation scheme to help develop a wind turbine gearbox which aims to reduce the cost of energy for wind turbine operators by as much as 5%. At David Brown we strive to be leaders in the gearing technologies of tomorrow and this grant will allow us to reduce the financial risk of bringing a beneficial product to market. This is a major boost to both David Brown and the UK supply chain, not only in terms of immediate supply partners but additionally, the wider opportunities that will develop as a result.”

This marks the first round of funding under the Offshore Wind Components Technologies Innovation scheme, further winners will be announced shortly and a second call for ideas will be launched in spring this year.

In addition, the Government’s Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group has today published an analysis of the priority areas for innovation support in offshore wind, the findings of which underpin the design of DECC’s Offshore Wind Innovation Scheme. The Technology Innovation Needs Assessment (TINA) Summary Report shows that offshore wind has tremendous potential to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and help meet renewables and carbon reduction targets. It also highlights the importance of innovation for cutting the cost of offshore wind and delivering benefits to the UK economy.

This is the first TINA Summary Report to be published. TINAs for other technology areas are being finalised and are expected to be published over the next few months


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