A new European FP7 project, LEANWIND, has been awarded to a consortium of 31 partners from 11 countries with an EU funding package of 10million euros and a total value of 15million euros.
LEANWIND is aiming to address inefficiencies in logistics and transport issues for offshore wind installations thereby contributing to cost reduction efforts. The consortium is led by Beaufort Research of University College, Cork, Ireland (UCC) and seeks to reduce costs for offshore wind farm developments and make offshore wind competitive with traditional energy sources. It will look at new ways to transport components, manage and organise ports efficiently, adapt fixed and floating turbine structures to aid installation and consider new technologies for wind farm maintenance.
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 and a principal aim of the project is to develop niche markets, thereby creating sustainable long term employment in offshore wind for European shipping industries. The project has now received 10 million euros of funding from the European Commission (EC) and has a total value of 15 million euros. The project was initiated in December 2013 and will run for four years.
The Spanish offshore wind sector in particular is to benefit from the project through the participation of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) alongside KALEIDO, IDEAS & LOGISTICS, ACCIONA INFRAESTRUCTURE and IBERDROLA RENOVABLES ENERGÍA. Together they will make key contributions in the areas of integrated logistics, construction, deployment and decommissioning and operation and maintenance.
Europe will also gain from the export of both products and services as offshore wind markets around the world develop, if the industry can reduce costs to levels comparable to other energy sources. Offshore wind energy will therefore play a key role in the stimulation of growth and investment in Europe over the next decade.
IBERDROLA has been at the forefront of the sector for the last 15 years, having invested over €25 billion. It is one of the leading wind operators in several countries around the world, including Spain, the UK, Brazil, Mexico and the US.
ACCIONAQ Infrastructure is a leading European sustainable construction company with its own R&D technological centre in Madrid. It also has 14 research laboratories and 2 production workshops to build prototypes.
KALEIDO, Ideas & Logistics operates in fields such as automotive, industrial projects and energy, including wind power, natural resources, marine, food and distribution. It has offices in Spain, Portugal, Angola, Brazil, China, India and South Africa and collaborates with more than 50 agencies and 300 specialists all over the world.
The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) is a multipurpose technical-scientific service infrastructure that provides support for research, technological development and innovation in the marine and maritime sectors. It is a joint initiative of the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Canary Islands and the Spanish National Government (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) and was approved in 2007 as part of the Spanish Network of Singular Scientific and Technological Infrastructures (ICTS). Its main aim is to build an infrastructure, consisting of an offshore platform, to promote marine science and technology of excellence. The operative phase of the platform is planned to begin in 2014, although the scientific, technological and innovation activities of the consortium are already in operation.