Equinor Enters North East Energy Catalyst Partnership

Equinor will work with leading local research institutions through the North-East Energy Catalyst’s Integrated Smart Energy Laboratory (ISEL) to support offshore wind industry research and development.

Equinor has entered into a partnership with ISEL to support research and development activities targeted at key offshore wind industry challenges.

ISEL brings together existing smart grid capabilities at Durham University, Newcastle University, and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in Blyth, creating an exciting new capacity with an internationally unique offer.

Equinor will provide wind farm data to support data analytics driving innovations in areas of interest to ISEL including modelling full systems integration, matching generation to hydrogen via electrolysis, predictive maintenance of offshore assets and cyber security & blockchain.

Equinor’s wind control room at Great Yarmouth
(Photo: Alan O’Neill / Equinor ASA)

Tom Nightingale, North East Stakeholder Manager at Equinor,said:

“Offshore wind is experiencing major growth in the UK and new innovations are needed to support the pace and scale of build out. We are extremely proud to be working with internationally renowned universities and research institutions here in the region to help advance industry learning. Equinor is committed to delivering on our offshore wind sector deal commitments and this partnership supports our ambitions to collaborate with the North East offshore wind cluster where we will operate our flagship Dogger Bank project.”

ISEL has created new opportunities for pioneering academic projects, applied research, impactful industry engagement, economic growth, and to secure competitive funding. ISEL is a sub-group of the North East Energy Catalyst, managed by North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP).

David Lynch, Energy Innovation Partnership Manager North East LEP, said: “The North East Energy Catalyst (facilitated by North East LEP) welcomes this exciting partnership with Equinor. The ISEL working group was brought together by the North East Energy Catalyst, it unites our regional data assets and smart grid capabilities. Thanks to data provided by Equinor, the ISEL working group can perform a series of data analytics to help inform future planning and thought leadership. An exemplar North East Energy Catalyst partnership, driving global benefits for the offshore wind sector. We look forward to working with Equinor and the ISEL working group via this partnership.”

Tony Quinn, Test Facilities Director at ORE Catapult, said: “ORE Catapult are delighted to be part of this exciting programme. ISEL is a great example of what can be achieved by combining our regional digital expertise and asset base with the aim of bringing real value to the industry. ORE Catapult would like to place on record its thanks to the North East Energy Catalyst in curating the ISEL partnership and Equinor for the supply of historical wind farm data.”

In October 2021 Equinor was announced as a partner in the North East Energy Catalyst network.

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