Salford firm shares in £4m offshore wind fund

Salford based green tech firm, High Voltage Partial Discharge (HVPD), has been chosen to share in a £4 million government fund to support research and innovation in the offshore wind industry.
The money comes from the latest round of the Offshore Components Technology Scheme, which is run by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and delivered through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
The aim is to find innovative ways of making offshore wind energy generation more cost-effective.
New technologies
HVPD is one of four companies to have been awarded a share of the £4 million, together with 2-B Energy, SgurrControl Ltd and Ocean Resource Ltd.
It will receive £900,370 to help develop a new technology that provides early warnings of faults in the high voltage, long-distance, under-sea cables used to export energy from offshore wind farms.
Based at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays, the company specialises in on-line partial discharge (OLPD) technology, which can be used to detect electrical and thermal insulation degradation in cables, and to support preventative maintenance strategies.
Its latest two-year innovation project will be carried out in partnership with Alstom Grid, The University of Strathclyde and a number of other European HVDC cable operators.
‘Innovation is critical’
Commenting on the Government’s support for innovation in the offshore wind sector, energy and climate change minister, Greg Barker, said: “The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more deployed than any other country.
“The benefits that offshore wind can bring are clear, from enhancing our energy security, reducing our dependence on imports and helping reduce our carbon emissions.
“Innovation is critical to cutting the cost of this low-carbon power source, which could in turn lead to lower bills for hardworking consumers.”
£160m investment
In related news, Siemens announced a new £160 million of investment in wind turbine manufacturing plant and port facilities in the Hull and Humber region, creating 1,000 jobs in the process.
The money will be complemented by another £150 million from the Associated British Ports (ABP) and as part of the plans, Siemens will move the manufacturing of its 6MW (Megawatt) wind turbines from Denmark to the UK.
The news represents a significant boost for the offshore wind industry, after a number of high profile investment plans were shelved in recent months.
RenewableUK described it as a “major coup” for the UK. Chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: "Attracting a major international company like Siemens to the UK, creating 1,000 jobs manufacturing turbines at two sites in Yorkshire, proves that we can bring the industrial benefits of offshore wind to Britain.
“This is just the start – where Siemens are leading, a cascade of others will follow – and we’ll see very significant growth in the UK supply chain.”

Posted under Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy, Creative and Digital Industries, Energy and Renewables and Environmental Technologies on 1 April 2014