Marine-i support for wind project

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A platform designed to aid in the building and launching of floating wind turbines is being researched and tested with support from Marine-i.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

The innovative design has been created by Falmouth-based Tugdock, which has patented and produced a floating solution to lift structures for various uses.

Business development director Lucas Lowe-Houghton said: “The floating offshore wind sector is growing fast worldwide, with enormous opportunities now emerging in the Celtic Sea and beyond.

“However, very few ports have sufficient water depth and assembly space to enable the commercialisation of these huge turbine floaters. Tugdock solves this problem. Our submersible platforms can operate in as little as five metres draft, enabling a more efficient construction. The platform is then towed to deeper water for launching of the turbines. Our platform is modular, easy to erect, and reusable. The Tugdock solution potentially means that a much larger number of UK ports could be involved in the fabrication of these structures, creating many new jobs.”

The next step for Tugdock is to carry out rigorous testing of a scale model of the platform. Marine-i is supporting this through grant funding and by providing access to leading-edge marine RD&I expertise and world-class testing facilities.

Prof Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-i, added: “The development of floating offshore wind energy in the Celtic Sea is a huge opportunity for Cornwall and the South West. Enabling this technology to reach its full potential will require new thinking and innovative solutions from potential suppliers, just like those being proposed by Tugdock.”

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