Marine Power Systems (MPS) has been awarded £4.3 million by the European Regional Development Fund to accelerate the development of a floating offshore wind and wave technology that could transform energy generation in deep-water locations.
The EDRF funding, which is part of a £6.2 million project under the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership scheme to promote research and innovation, will enable MPS to launch an extensive programme of work on its DualSub — a device that can simultaneously capture both wave energy and wind energy and is easy to transport, install, operate and maintain.
The announcement comes just weeks after MPS secured an investment of £12.8 million from the Welsh European Funding Office to design, build and test a full-scale WaveSub, which is scaleable to over 10MW.
WaveSub’s high level of stability in deep water prompted MPS to explore its suitability for use as a platform for wind turbines, particularly in locations where wind speeds are high but the water depths make a fixed-base turbine too costly to install — a constraint widely recognised in the sector.
Initial tests revealed that MPS’s approach could provide a strong and stable platform on which a turbine could be mounted, enabling the simultaneous capture of wave and wind energy.
This led to the development of both DualSub and a floating offshore wind device called WindSub.
Prototype stability tests have now been completed, along with detailed computational simulation and ‘cost of energy’ modelling.
The positive results have led MPS to accelerate the development of both devices, and the £4.3 million of ERDF funding will enable the company to make progress towards demonstrator sea-testing, before reaching commercial readiness in 2023.
MPS CEO Gareth Stockman (www.marinepowersystems.co.uk
) said: “The UK floating offshore wind sector offers huge opportunities for low-carbon energy generation.
"We are delighted to have secured this funding from the ERDF; it is investment such as this that will unlock new markets for UK skills, products and expertise — and play a vital role in the UK Government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050.”