The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is seeking a UK-based university as partner to help accelerate research and development of offshore wind turbine blade technology.

The ORE Catapult is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre which aims to advance wind, wave and tidal energy.

In partnership with a UK-based university, ORE Catapult intends to launch a wind blade research hub to build stronger, complementary academic research, innovation, demonstration and representative testing for the offshore renewable energy sector.

The selected university will join the hub, which aims to help shape ORE Catapult’s future wind blade research and development plan.

ORE Catapult innovation and research director Ignacio Marti said: “With important challenges ahead in blade design, materials, manufacturing, ancillary systems and sensors, this is an exciting time for blades research, with significant opportunities for product-driven research.

“By pooling existing academic and industry skills and resources, we are better able to respond to industry’s needs, driving forward vital research and helping to leverage further competitive R&D funding and revenue.”

In August, ORE Catapult and Centrica have successfully delivered the first in-field measurement campaign under its blade leading edge program (BLEEP).

The campaign also concluded that an uplift in annual energy production (AEP) of between 1.5 to 2% is possible following the repair of moderate blade erosion.

Image: A ORE Catapult's blade testing facility. Photo: courtesy of Offshore Renewable Energy.