UK government hands out £10m to offshore wind sector

UK: The UK government has announced grants of £10million to a series of wind energy projects, the first to be delivered by the new coalition government.

UK energy minister Chris Huhne

Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy and climate change announced the money would go to eight companies, including Siemens, to develop services and wind turbine technology.

Half of the total funding will go to Siemens, which is set to develop its 6MW offshore turbine in the UK. The grant was originally agreed by the previous UK government during negotiations over the project.

The remainder will be split between British companies and service providers, including cable manufacturers and designers of support vessels.

Speaking about the grants, Huhne said: "Offshore wind will be very significant in the energy mix as we move to low carbon, sustainable energy supplies. The UK has a wealth of natural resource and coastlines for offshore wind. We are already world leaders in building offshore wind but we must do much, much more.

"These investments can help our own businesses reap the benefits of renewable energy and help lower costs to consumers. That’s why it’s important that we support UK supply chain companies even in these tough economic times with grants to help them develop technologies to fit the emerging market."

The recipients are:

JDR Cable Systems Ltd - Hartlepool
High Voltage Export & array cables for distribution of power from next generation, multi Megawatt turbines
Cooper Rolling Bearings – Kings Lynn Norfolk
Develop and demonstrate the use of split bearing technology in large scale wind applications
South Boats Special Projects Ltd – Isle of Wight
Modular design of offshore wind farm support vessels
MTL Group – Sheffield
Develop mass manufacturing techniques for jacket and monopile sub-assemblies
Blade Dynamics – Isle of Wight
Develop and demonstrate use of modular blade assembly
NGentec – Edinburgh
Develop and demonstrate new innovative 6MW generator
Converteam - Rugby
Large scale DC conversion technology