Government to declare offshore wind funding

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The first round of grants since the budget for developing offshore wind technology are to be announced today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Secretary of state Chris Huhne will announce the grants - worth a total of £10m - in a speech at the launch of the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspective report.

A £5m grant for Siemens Wind Power - applied for under a previous round of funding - will be used to develop a next-generation 6MW offshore turbine with an integrated foundation.

The second largest grant recipient - JDR Cable Systems - will use the £2m it has been awarded as part of an £11m investment package that will see the company develop high-voltage cables for the distribution of power from multi-megawatt turbines. The cables will be manufactured at JDR’s deepwater quayside factory in Hartlepool.

In its Northern European headquarters in Rugby, Warwickshire, Converteam plans to use its £1m grant to build a full-scale test and technology demonstrator of its large-scale DC conversion technology, while Cooper Rolling Bearings of Kings Lynn in Norfolk will use the £256,250 it has been awarded to develop and demonstrate the use of split-bearing technology in large-scale wind applications.

For its part, Isle of Wight-based South Boats Special Projects has been awarded £300,000 to develop offshore wind farm support vessels, while also on the Isle of Wight, Blade Dynamics will use its £400,000 grant to develop and demonstrate the use of modular turbine blade assemblies.

Moving north, the Sheffield-based MTL Group is to develop mass manufacturing techniques for jacket and monopile subassemblies with its grant of £250,000, while Edinburgh-based NGentec plans to develop and demonstrate a new 6MW generator with the £800,000 it has been awarded.