14 December 2023 – A project consortium headed by Nekkar ASA, and including Kongsberg Maritime, DOF, an undisclosed global wind farm developer and several leading research institutions, has conditionally been awarded a research and innovation grant of NOK 75.2 million, in total, through the Norwegian government’s Green Platform Initiative.
The consortium, which also includes GCE Node, NORCE, Sustainable Energy Catapult Center, Sintef Ocean and University of Agder, aims to develop a safe and efficient solution for main component replacement (MCR) on offshore wind turbines – thereby realizing significant reductions in time, cost and loss of revenue due to downtime.
The project will develop a remote-controlled, self-hoisting lifting equipment, based on Nekkar’s SkyWalker wind turbine installation tool, that moves up and down the turbine tower to replace the main components like gearbox, blade, etc. while on-site offshore.
Also, a 3D motion-compensated crane will be developed with the purpose of lifting SkyWalker from a floating vessel to a floating turbine. Further, specifications of a multi-purpose vessel integrating the requirements of SkyWalker and 3D crane will be developed. The project will also evaluate the impact of the solution from a total wind farm perspective using and developing existing tools for offshore logistics, vessel design, and marine operations.
The objective is to develop a main component replacement solution that can be utilised offshore on both floating and fixed-bottom wind turbine generators across OEMs, both for newbuilds as well as the installed base.
The project is contingent approval of capital contributions from each project partner to activate the NOK 75.2 million funding from the Green Platform Initiative. The project partners expect to conclude this process during the first quarter of 2024, at which point further information about the project and funding will be shared.
The Green Platform Initiative provides funding for enterprises and research institutes engaged in green growth and restructuring driven by research and innovation. The Norwegian government uses the Green Platform Initiative to stimulate bigger and more rapid investments from companies in green sustainable solutions and products. The objective is to trigger opportunities for green value creation through major projects. The projects should comprise the whole value chain from research and knowledge production to testing, commercialisation and industrialisation of sustainable, green products and services.