Catapult collaboration sparks offshore infrastructure R&D

Louise Smyth

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has appointed two of the UK’s top universities, with strong track records in electrical engineering, to join its £3.1 million research Hub.

The Universities of Strathclyde and Manchester will join the Catapult to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub (EIRH). The Hub will accelerate research and development activities, tackling the challenge of making the UK’s electrical infrastructure systems future-proof to meet the needs of the growing offshore wind, wave and tidal industries.  

With a five-year investment of around £700k from ORE Catapult, and £2.4 million match funding from its university partners, the Hub will address a selection of key research topics and themes, including: component reliability and availability; system and sub-system optimisation and smart systems of the future (including energy storage solutions). 

Over its 5 year lifespan, the EIRH will be supported by at least 10 PhD students, three post-doctoral researchers and world-leading expertise from both the university partners and ORE Catapult’s electrical infrastructure research team. Both the universities and the Catapult have access to unique test and demonstration facilities that will enable novel methods and technologies to be accelerated along the technology readiness scale from concept to validation. 

Paul McKeever, ORE Catapult’s Head of Strategic Research, said: “The UK’s wind, wave and tidal industries are developing at pace and the offshore wind industry has announced its most ambitious plans to date that would see 30GW of installed capacity by 2030. One of the biggest challenges associated with these plans will be to address how we best convert, transmit and store energy from our offshore renewable assets in an effective and reliable manner.”

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