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A new joint industry programme launched by the Carbon Trust aims to maximise the contribution of offshore wind to a low cost, flexible, predictable and low carbon energy future. The Integrator programme has secured support from six offshore wind farm developers: EnBW, Equinor, RWE, ScottishPower Renewables, Total and Vattenfall who will collaborate on a series of projects over the next year.
As with all variable renewable energies, increased deployment results in integration costs to adapt the energy system to balance demand and generation. This cost is currently not captured in standard LCOE figures. Technology innovation presents opportunities for offshore wind to evolve its role in the energy system and reduce system integration costs. For example, offshore wind farms could provide further grid services to support voltage or frequency control, by making offshore wind output more predictable through the utilisation of co-located storage technology, or enter new markets, by converting energy into green fuels through electrolysis.
The Integrator is a programme designed to examine the interplay between offshore wind, existing infrastructure, and other technologies and developments to highlight opportunities for innovation investment.  Two initial projects will be carried out i) a study to define key market factors that impact the use and integration of offshore wind energy, and ii) a study to identify key technology options that could maximise opportunities for offshore wind energy use and integration, considering the wider market characteristics.
The programme is funded by industry partners: EnBW, Equinor, RWE, ScottishPower Renewables, Total and Vattenfall.
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