€ 7.3 million subsidy for innovation in offshore wind projects

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TKI Wind op Zee
Topsector Algemeen

Two notable innovation projects working on offshore wind have been informed today that they will receive a subsidy from Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO): SIMOX and RoboDock. SIMOX receives € 4 million, and is testing various methods to install monopiles at sea more silently. RoboDock receives € 3.3 million and is developing a maintenance platform with drones at sea.

TKI Wind op Zee (part of Topsector Energy) helps and supports offshore wind innovation projects. “I am very happy that these promising projects receive subsidies” says Bob Meijer, director of TKI Wind op Zee: “Offshore wind farms are still relatively new. There is a lot that we need to learn and innovation helps to build and manage as cheap and nuisance-free as possible. That is essential for a rapid roll-out of sustainable wind energy.”

SIMOX: build even quieter monopiles

In SIMOX which is part of the GROW consortium, 3 research institutes and 11 companies are working together to test 4 new silent methods for installing XXL monopiles. This is vital because noise requirements for construction will become increasingly restrictive with rising numbers of wind turbines at the North Sea. In addition, SIMOX investigates ways to responsibly remove monopiles at the end of wind farms lifetime.

David de Jager, director of GROW: “SIMOX is unique in its approach with multiple technologies under the same conditions. We aim to test in settings that are as realistic as possible with scaled monopiles in labs, on land and at sea. In the GROW consortium we work together based on our strengths and expertise, that is key to success.”

RoboDock: the maintenance platform with drones

Maintenance and inspection with manned vessels is becoming increasingly expensive for wind farms located far beyond coastlines. RoboDock was developed by Fugro and provides a platform from which various unmanned vessels and drones can perform inspection and maintenance tasks above as well as below water. The drones can recharge on the RoboDock, communication with the shore takes place on the platform and next to this, safety and the environment around the wind farm can be monitored from the RoboDock. In this project 4 companies and a research institute work together.

Ivar de Josselin de Jong, director for Remote Inspection at Fugro: “RoboDock is a cutting-edge technological innovation that will allow the offshore wind industry to accelerate the adoption of remote and autonomous solutions by creating an uncrewed platform which can effectively ‘oversee’ remote inspections. Removing human workers from extreme environments derisks offshore operations and provides a scalable solution to support this ever-expanding industry as we transition to a safer and more liveable world.”

About the MOOI scheme

Nine consortia have expressed interest in the grant, eventually, five consortia submitted an application. The RVO awarded two of the five projects submitted funding from the MOOI scheme. Fugro's RoboDock project will receive a subsidy of € 3.3 million. TUD's SIMOX project will receive a subsidy of € 4 million. For more information on the scheme, see www.rvo.nl/mooi. For more background information on the scheme is, read about the Energy Transition & Sustainability missions.