A technology development grant of NOK 22 million (approx. USD 2.1 million) is awarded to the Wind Catching Systems offshore wind turbine structure Windcatcher. The government-owned company Enova does it to support the development, manufacturing, and testing of Windcatcher.
The Mehuken Wind Park on the Norwegian west coast is chosen to handle the pilot project installation in 2023. In the meantime, the Wind Catching System will collaborate with organizations like Zephyr, Aibel, The Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), and DNV as part of the development phase.
According to the CEO of Wind Catching Systems, Ole Heggheim, “The grant from ENOVA, combined with the capital raised from our investors GM Ventures, Ferd, and North Energy, will fully finance our turbine development program.”
He emphasized this as a crucial step in creating the most effective technology accessible to humanity to establish floating offshore wind as a competitive and sustainable energy source.
The Norway headquartered company is designing a multi-turbine floating wind power station to maximize energy production per floating structure and enable a self-contained maintenance system that replaces the need for specialized vessels to assist offshore maintenance operations.
This technology is anticipated to consume up to 80% less land and significantly boost efficiency than conventional floating offshore wind farms.
This technology development by Wind Catching Systems will attempt to address sustainability issues about recycling, marine resources, and CO2 emissions from installation and maintenance. It is anticipated that this technology will have a structural design life of 50 years and should be more cost-effective to maintain than conventional floating offshore wind solutions.
General Motors (GM), an American multinational automaker, decided to invest up to USD 10 million in Wind Catching Systems in June, primarily owned by Ferd and North Energy. Additionally, they oversaw the Series A funding round, which helped raise money for the development and commercialization of the technology.
One Wind Catching unit is expected to replace five conventional 15 MW offshore wind turbines, producing the same amount of energy year on.