LONDON: Image of a digitalised windfarm, alongside an image of a radar screen, image of Naval communications officer, and image of a helicopter cockpit.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are exploring a Phase 3 of the “Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence” competition, to build on current activities which seek to advance innovative technologies to enable the long-term co-existence of offshore windfarms and Air Defence radar.
The competition is funded by the BEIS Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) and is undertaken in partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and DASA.
On 16 December, DASA and BEIS hosted a webinar to test the programme’s vision with the wider market and provide the opportunity to inform the programme. The scope of Phase 3 is likely to support technologies across the 3 broad categories:
- stealthy materials
- alternative tracking based solutions.
The competition is aimed at any technology providers within those 3 categories, as well as original equipment manufacturers, onshore and offshore owner/operators and developers who would be interested in collaborating with the technology providers as part of Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence: Phase 3.
If you are interested in submitting a proposal when the competition launches in 2023, watch the below webinar.
Fill out the collaboration survey here.
The importance of Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence
Offshore wind will play an increasingly critical role in the UK’s renewable energy supply to enable Net Zero ambitions, as manifested by a 50GW target by 2030 and a Climate Change Committee (CCC) central scenario of at least 75GW of capacity by 2050.
The offshore windfarm installations may adversely impact the quality of data obtained from the long-range Primary Surveillance Radars (PSR) which are the backbone of the UK’s Air Defence detection capability. A mitigating solution, or combination of solutions, is needed to enable the co-existence of windfarms and Air Defence and enable the deployment of offshore wind.
Through the Joint Air Defence and Offshore Wind Task Force, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is currently working on procuring mitigation solutions in the near term, to enable the next generation of large-scale offshore windfarms to be built that will become operational from 2025 and beyond. This BEIS funded innovation programme is complementing the MOD work and focuses on helping to find solutions that will enable the long term co-existence of Air Defence and offshore wind.
What happened in Phase 1 and 2?
In Phase 1, £2 million worth of contracts were awarded to fast-track ideas for technologies that could mitigate the impact of windfarms on the UK’s Air Defence radar system. Learn more here.
In Phase 2, seven projects were awarded a total of £3.8 million funding to develop technologies that support the coexistence of offshore windfarms and UK Air Defence systems. Learn more here. – Collaboration Survey
For a potential phase 3, we encourage collaboration between suppliers. To support this, we have a short survey to collect details of suppliers who wish to explore collaboration possibilities. This collaboration list will be circulated to all those who have signed up on a weekly basis. In contrast to phases 1 and 2, the potential phase 3 will likely be a grant competition and require match-funding from the bidders.