Three firms have been awarded funding totalling £400,000 to commercialise the development of “next generation” 66 kiloVolt (kV) offshore wind cables.
Carbon Trust estimates the cables to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy by 1.5% or £100 million every year.
The project is part of the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) initiative, which aims to move the sector away from 33kV cables.
OWA industrial partners are nine international energy companies, including DONG Energy, ScottishPower Renewables, Statoil and Vattenfall.
Megan Smith, Electrical Systems Project Manager, OWA said: “Cable manufacturers were unwilling to invest in the certification process of a new cost effective 66kV cable without knowing if there is demand and developers can’t specify a new array cable voltage when cables are not yet certified.
“The Carbon Trust’s OWA has resolved this by enabling the cable industry to work with the offshore wind sector to develop a solution that will benefit all.”
The three winning cable manufacturers are JDR, Nexans and Prysmian. Testing of two of the new cable designs is due to be completed by the end of next year.
Earlier this week the OWA intiative was awarded £2.2 million by the Scottish Government.