UK-China in offshore research collaboration

CHINA: ORE Catapult and Chinese clean energy company Tus will develop a 500MW demonstration project as part of an offshore co-operation agreement.

China Huaneng Group's 300MW project (above) is currently China's largest offshore wind farm
China Huaneng Group's 300MW project (above) is currently China's largest offshore wind farm

The companies will also work to boost UK technology innovation and deployment in the Chinese offshore wind market and create joint applied research projects between British and Chinese companies and academic institutions.

An offshore wind science park will also be set up in Shandong — the same northeastern province where the 500MW demonstration will be installed.

UK technology will make up between 10% and 15% of the demonstration project’s content, the two companies stated. Based on an estimated Capex of £3 million/MW (CNY 26.4 million/MW, €3.4 million/MW) for developing an offshore wind farm, the arrangement could be worth about £220 million (CNY 1.94 billion, €250 million) to UK companies and universities, ORE Catapult estimated.

ORE Catapult chief executive Andrew Jamieson said the agreement would enable the research company to bring the UK’s "world-leading experience to bear on the emerging Chinese market, drive British-Chinese academic collaboration and provide huge export opportunities for innovative UK businesses".

China leads the world in installed capacity onshore, but its offshore market is less developed.

It is expected to have a total of 169.5GW installed by 1 January 2018, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. But its offshore total of 1,907MW lags behind that of the world-leading the UK, which has 5,788MW installed.

Tus senior vice president Yingzhuo Du said his company and China’s nascent offshore wind sector stood to benefit from the "extensive experience and expertise" of ORE Catapult and other UK companies.

ORE Catapult and Tus will hold workshops early next year to identify which technologies could be most applicable for development for the Chinese offshore wind market.

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