United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Cable firms awarded £400,000 for cable innovation

UK: THE UK's Carbon Trust has awarded Nexans, Prysmian and JDR £400,000 (EUR 502,500) to help commercialise the use of 66kV array cables.

Inter-array cables are currently 33kV
Inter-array cables are currently 33kV

The government-funded company believes that the use of cables with a higher voltage than the standard 33kV cables for the UK's Round 3 projects would decrease lifetime costs associated with cabling.

The Carbon Trust has calculated that a move to 66kV cables could cut the cost of offshore wind energy by 1.5%, which equates to a Round 3 cost of energy saving of up to £100 million (EUR 126 million) per year.

Savings would be made by increasing the availability of turbines through optimising the intra-array cable layout of offshore wind farms.

"Moving to the higher voltage becomes even more attractive as wind turbines continue to increase in size – and it should also allow inter-array cable lengths to be reduced," the Carbon Trust said in a statement.

The body said that it was spurred to make this investment by the impression that cable manufacturers were unwilling to invest in the certification process of a new 66kV cable without knowing if there is demand, and developers cannot specify a new array cable voltage when cables are not yet certified.

All three companies will be given an equal share of the cash. JDR will develop a three-core 630-square-millimetre, copper conductor, wet design cable. Nexans will work on an aluminium conductor, dry design. Prysmian will develop a three-core 800-square-millimetre, aluminium conductor cable.

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