Shell joins UK floating offshore wind centre of excellence

Hywind floating project in Scotland. © Equinor

Shell, along with 9 other offshore energy giants, has joined Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s national Floating Offshore Wind Center of Excellence (FOWCoE) in the UK. Together they want to accelerate the commercialization of floating wind energy.

The FOWCoE center of expertise is engaged in the development of floating offshore wind energy in the UK. The UK has an offshore wind growth target of 40 GW by 2030 and even aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The aim is to reduce the cost of energy from floating wind, accelerate the build-out of floating farms, create opportunities for the UK supply chain, as well as driving innovations in manufacturing, installation and operations and maintenance.

To this end, the center will work closely with stakeholders across the sector, including the Welsh and Scottish Governments and regional authorities in England, leading academic institutions in the UK, and key technology and supply chain providers

The center is mainly focused on technological development, the supply chain and operations, development and permit and net zero connection.

IThe first tranche of projects will focus on addressing some of the critical challenges in the commercialisation of floating offshore wind, including the development and consenting process; project and technology certification, classification and application of standards; developing a cost reduction pathway to commercial competitiveness; and defining the energy systems benefits of floating offshore wind.

According to Vincent Fromont, General Manager Floating wind at Shell, the company can contribute to the project with its experience in offshore energy and specifically with partners in floating wind projects such as WindFloat, Tetraspar and Groix & Belle-Ile Floating Wind.

The other 9 partners are Total, EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, Equinor, ESB, Mainstream Renewable Power, ScottishPower Renewables, SSE Renewables and Offshore Wind Power Ltd.