A pioneering new approach to using space data to support the development of renewable energy sites, such as floating offshore wind is being supported by Marine-i. This new system could help reduce the risks and costs associated with these developments.

The project is the brainchild of 4EI, the space-based data specialists. Space data can provide a wide range of information that can be used to improve safety and reduce costs in and around offshore assets. Satellite Earth Observation can provide data on a range of indicators, including weather, sea state, environmental impacts, vessel activity and thermal signatures.

Richard Flemmings, Chief Technical Officer of 4EI explains: “Our overall aim is the creation of a new marine data management and analysis service that will initially be targeted at the rapidly developing floating offshore wind opportunity in the Celtic Sea. Improving and expanding system functions and efficiency whilst identifying critical market opportunities will produce direct cost savings, carbon savings and risk reduction for developments in this sector, increasing market competitiveness and accelerating its penetration into the low carbon energy generation market.”

Neil Farrington of Marine-i partner, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult says: “The development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea presents an exciting opportunity to commercialise the use of Earth Observation data in the offshore energy sector, with Cornwall taking a lead in demonstrating its application and value. Utilising space derived data could also displace more traditional methods of environmental data collection that are heavily dependent of vessels or aircraft and their associated high levels of emissions.”

Prof Lars Johanning, Programme Director for Marine-i, says: “If we are to realise the full potential of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea, then this will require radical new approaches and cutting-edge solutions, which is exactly what 4EI are demonstrating. This project could have a crucial role to play in helping us to achieve the ambitious targets that we have set for floating offshore wind development over the next 10 years. It would also put Cornwall at the forefront of a completely new approach to satellite data which would have worldwide applications.”

About Marine-i

Marine-i is a pioneering project designed to help marine technology businesses grow through research, development and innovation. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is a collaboration between the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, The Cornwall College Group, Cornwall Marine Network, Cornwall Development Company and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.


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