A project consortium headed by Nekkar has been awarded a research and innovation grant of NOK 75.2 million, through the Norwegian government’s Green Platform Initiative.

“We are very excited to be given this opportunity. We look forward to developing new technology in cooperation with some of the industry’s best,” says Mette Harv, Executive Vice President at Nekkar.

The Nekkar-led consortium includes Kongsberg Maritime, DOF, and an undisclosed global wind farm developer – in addition to GCE NODE, NORCE, Sustainable Energy Catapult Center, Sintef Ocean and the University of Agder. Their aim is 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 utilized offshore on both floating and fixed-bottom wind turbine generators across OEMs, both for newbuilds as well as the installed base.

Anne-Line Aagedal will serve as Project Manager. She is a former Administrative Manager of Center for Research-based Innovation SFI Offshore Mechatronics.

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.

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, commercialization and industrialization of sustainable, green products and services.

Thursday, a total of nine projects were awarded grants by the Green Platform Initiative, receiving a combined NOK 573 million. Among the other projects are Greenbox (partners include Tratec Norcon and NORCE) and SmartSirk (partners include Ignos).