Vard, its subsidiary Seaonics, and partners have been awarded NOK 38m for the Ocean Charger project through the Norwegian Government’s support scheme ‘The Green Platform Initiative’.
Norwegian Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Jan Christian Vestre, said: “We are carrying out the largest restructuring of the Norwegian economy ever. Everything will become greener. It is private companies that must lead the way in this transformation, with the public sector as a supporter”
Håvard Vollset Lien, VP of Research & Innovation in the Vard Group, said: “We were thrilled to hear the news and glad to see that the importance of this project was recognised. The offshore wind industry is becoming increasingly important not only for the green energy transition but also for national value creation. With our leading team of experienced professionals, we will evaluate different solutions and business models supplying various offshore vessels with green energy. As this market is growing rapidly, we see a unique opportunity for Norway to be the leading provider.”
In the coming years, a substantial new maritime infrastructure will be developed and built for the offshore wind industry in Norway. Based on the development for other segments, batteries have proven to be the most mature technology for zero or low-emission vessels. This technology constitutes the basis for developing the Ocean Charger project.
Maritime CleanTech Head of Innovation, Øystein Huglen, added: “Through this project, we will enable continuous zero-emission operations on the Norwegian continental shelf for the first time.”
By connecting vessels to the power grid in the wind farm and charging batteries regularly, the operational availability of emission-free vessel operations will be secured. The aim is to power operations at the field without using any additional energy sources.
With offshore wind and zero-emission solutions in mind, Vard and its partners in the Ocean Charger project fitted the criteria well. The project will develop a maritime value chain for offshore wind with offshore energy transfer. With a strong consortium of industry and research partners, Vard will lead the way from research to testing, validation, and commercialisation of new technological solutions for energy transfer to battery-powered ships offshore.
The project will kick off in 2023, and the work will be performed over three years. Vard Design will lead the work together with sister companies Seaonics and Vard Electro, partners Rem Offshore, Solstad Offshore, Sintef Energi, Sintef Ocean, DigiCat, Sustainable Energy, Equinor, Source Energie, Corvus Energy, Plug, Shoreline, Marin Energi Testsenter, University of Bergen, Norce and Maritime CleanTech.
The Hurtigruten-led Sea Zero project, in which Vard is also involved, is to receive over NOK 67m from the Norwegian Government. The main objective of the project is to enable sustainable passenger and freight transport along the coast by developing and demonstrating zero-emission ships for Hurtigruten by 2030. The project includes the development of energy-efficient design for emission-free large ships, emission-free energy solutions and optimisation of route patterns and charging infrastructure.