RWE has launched its first global “Floating Wind Co-use Competition”. The company is looking for innovative solutions which promote biodiversity, reduce ecological impact and create a mutually beneficial relationship between floating developments and local marine stakeholders.
RWE, one of the current world leaders in offshore wind, has a strong focus on ensuring sustainable floating wind development. The company says it now wants to accelerate their efforts to find practical, high-impact opportunities that can be deployed on commercial-scale projects.
Their “Floating Wind Co-use Competition” is seeking solutions for the following two categories:
- Methods to promote co-use of marine space with other sea users to support local marine stakeholders (especially fisheries).
- Methods to reduce the ecological impact on wildlife and / or positively impact biodiversity.
RWE invites start-ups, scale-ups, research institutes as well as other individuals and organisations to propose solutions to promote co-existence with other sea-based activities to support local marine stakeholders – especially the fisheries. Furthermore, the company is looking for innovations, which minimise the environmental impact on wildlife and which have a net-positive impact on biodiversity. The innovations should provide positive opportunities for local marine stakeholders, and ideally protect the marine ecosystem simultaneously.
We see sustainability and biodiversity enhancement as integral parts during the development, construction and operation of our wind farms.
We have installed the world’s first recyclable rotor blades, signed an agreement for ‘green’ fuel service operation vessels and we are looking into artifical reefs to enhance biodiversity – to name only a few examples. Now, we want to further promote new technology and new ideas for floating offshore wind, which especially support our strategy to build biodiversity net positive offshore wind farms in future.Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind
Winners of the competition will get the chance to explore the value of their innovation for floating offshore wind farms with RWE’s in-house experts and get to work with RWE’s global development teams, which drive forward floating wind projects in Europe, Asia and America. The winners are also eligible to a monetary research grant to further develop their ideas.
RWE is actively involved in two high-profile demonstration projects in Spain and Norway.
In the UK, RWE plans to participate in the upcoming Crown Estate’s UK Round 5 Seabed Lease auction for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.
RWE has already developed industrial collaborations in Wales to gain a better understanding of the local supply chain possibilities. These include a cooperation agreement with Tata Steel UK, and agreements with ABP Port Talbot, Port of Milford Haven, Ledwood Mechanical Engineering and Marine Power Systems. The company also recently announced a collaboration with Sarens and Tuckdock on launching steel and concrete floating foundations.
The development of floating wind in the Celtic Sea offers a multi-billion pound economic opportunity, creating a lasting legacy of innovation, manufacturing and operations, with a newly-skilled workforce bringing a host of benefits to local communities.
This competition is a mechanism to try to ensure that innovation and biodiversity are at the heart of the projects we are developing.Danielle Lane, RWE’s Director of Offshore Wind Development (UK and Ireland)
Participants can submit their proposal until 31st December 2023. More information including the submission form can be found here.