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United Kingdom

Rally car-inspired vessel among Carbon Trust offshore prize shortlist

UK: The eagerly awaited global shortlist for the UK Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator Programme features a boat with suspension, a giant robotic arm, a vessel that minimises ocean swell and a giant mothership.

In all, 13 designs have been shortlisted from 450 submissions all put forward with the aim of reducing the cost of offshore wind energy.

With future offshore wind projects such as the North Sea Round 3 heading up to 300km offshore into rougher seas, the aim of the Carbon Trust’s competition is to identify access concepts that can make transfers to offshore sites possible for a minimum of 300 days a year.

Rough seas have inspired the vessel with suspension, inspired by the Paris-Dakar rally cars, and the vessel with a towering keel that minimises movement in the ocean swell.

The robotic arm is designed to transfer engineers and equipment to the turbine base at sea. Another shortlisted entry is a giant harbour mother ship that would act as a base for engineers for weeks on end, dispatching daughter craft to access turbines.

The Carbon Trust’s Director of Innovation Benj Sykes added: "We’ve trawled the globe looking for revolutionary new ideas that can transfer engineers safely in the huge swells around the UK’s coasts. These designs could significantly improve the economics of offshore wind and keep our engineers safe out to sea".

UK climate change minister Greg Barker said of the shortlist: "These projects represent some of the best ideas to overcome the challenges of working in deeper water."

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