November 21 (Renewables Now) - GE Renewable Energy said on Tuesday it will partner with the UK's Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in a USD-11-million (EUR 9.7m) research and development (R&D) programme whose goal is to cut the time people have to spend offshore.
The goal of the "Stay Ashore!" programme, to be implemented over a period of four years, is to improve safety and reduce operating costs for offshore wind farms, the renewables arm of General Electric (NYSE:GE) said.
The three pillars of the project include reliability by design, which is primarily focused on validation of key wind turbine components; full remote operability and troubleshooting of the turbines through advanced digital functionality in order to reduce the need to go offshore for unplanned events; the use of robotics for planned maintenance, specifically repetitive tasks, inspection activities and tasks in difficult-to-access areas.
The project is in line with GE's UK offshore wind strategy, as part of which it pursue collaboration with local partners to reduce the cost of electricity and boost offshore wind reliability.
"By eliminating unplanned offshore human intervention through increasing productivity with digital and robotic tools, in addition to our Haliade-X 12 MW performance and design features, we will contribute significantly to reducing the cost of offshore wind energy," commented John Lavelle, head of Offshore Wind at GE.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.88)