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ARC Marine, Verlume and ForWind, the Center for Wind Energy Research at the University of Oldenburg, have won RWE’s first international Innovation Competition. The competition focused on two key areas: ecology and system integration.
 
ARC Marine from England is the winner of the Ecology Innovation and focuses on sustainable cable and scour protection. In the category System Integration, there are two winners: Verlume from Scotland and ForWind from Germany.
 
ARC Marine develops solutions to improve the ecosystem impact of offshore wind farms. The company’s mission is to accelerate reef creation through nature inclusive designs, such as their scour solution Reef Cubes: a plastic-free and low-carbon solution for the restoration of marine habitat and biodiversity. Reef Cubes produce around 90 percent less CO2 than their concrete counterparts and can be created carbon neutral from the point of manufacture. Next to that, ARC Marine develops sustainable marine matts for cable protection at cable crossings. These matts are a concrete-like cable protection that enhances biodiversity as they are designed to have a surface structure with small cracks and holes, creating habitat for an array of marine life.
 
Verlume is bringing multi-purpose storage solutions offshore with a subsea lithium-ion battery, which has a modular and scalable design that will lead to a more balanced power output by shaving the peak power production offshore. Beyond preventing grid curtailment, the battery can provide multiple offshore services, such as frequency response, black start capability for wind turbines and charging of hybrid or fully electric service vessels.
 
ForWind, the Center for Wind Energy Research at the University of Oldenburg, was selected as winner for the development of a lidar-based power forecasting methodology. This has the potential to improve the integration of wind power in future energy systems by accurately predicting ramp rates of wind turbines and supporting grid stability. This can help with securing grid reliability during so called ramp events, sudden and strong changes in power caused by meteorological events leading to a significant drop or increase of supply.
 
The winners are in close exchange with RWE’s innovation team and will jointly assess opportunities for further developing their solution towards commercialisation. RWE has already included the winners into its bid for the Dutch offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust West site VI and VII and will evaluate the use for other commercial offshore wind projects.
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