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ScottishPower Renewables backs Proserv offshore wind subsea cable solution

Global controls technology company Proserv Controls has received industrial sponsorship for its disruptive subsea cable condition monitoring system for the offshore wind segment, ECG™, or Electro Cable Guard, from ScottishPower Renewables (SPR).
Artemis House, Proserv's Great Yarmouth based Subsea Centre of Excellence
Aberdeen based Proserv’s Subsea Centre of Excellence is located in Great Yarmouth

Aberdeen based Proserv’s Subsea Centre of Excellence is located in Great Yarmouth and this facility supports its global operations right across the energy segment.

SPR is part of the ScottishPower group of companies operating in the UK under the Iberdrola Group, one of the world’s largest integrated utility companies and a leader in wind energy.

The sponsorship agreement will see SPR provide its expertise and resource both from a cable owner and operator perspective, bringing vital knowledge into the project to assist in the on-going development and ultimate functionality of ECG. SPR’s input will greatly help the future commercialisation of the system, with its close understanding of the key requirements of the industry across asset owners and developers.

ECG has been initiated and driven by Proserv with critical support from its consortium partners Synaptec, a power system monitoring leader, and cable engineering specialists BPP Cable Solutions. The system offers a paradigm shift in present market offerings around condition monitoring of both inter array and export cables.

The consortium has adopted a holistic approach to building its solution, incorporating multiple parameters such as distributed temperature, acoustic and electrical sensing, with synchronous, real-time monitoring across an asset and continuous automated data analysis.

Machine learning will be integrated into the system, so that, once fully engaged, minute anomalies in performance, even within normal operating boundaries, will be detected, potentially indicating future issues requiring remedial action.

It is anticipated that the capabilities of ECG will lead to huge advances in the way subsea cables are managed, significantly reducing the incidence of faults and failures on offshore windfarms in the future.

Proserv’s Business Development Director – Renewables, Paul Cook, stated: “This industrial sponsorship commitment from ScottishPower Renewables is a vital step forward for our ECG project. To have such key end user support throughout the development ensures that our subsea cable monitoring solution sits front and centre of what the industry needs and wants.

“SPR recognises there is a critical requirement for an innovation in the offshore wind industry that monitors cables using a methodology that goes way beyond what is available today within the market.”

Proserv’s agreement with SPR comes months after the ECG project received two thirds of its £1.5mn development costs, totalling £1mn, via a Smart Grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. The funding programme is offered to the “best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas.” The remaining sum is being supplied by the respective members of the consortium.

As the ECG project moves forwards, it is anticipated that the technology will be demonstrated on a UK commercial scale windfarm in Q2/Q3 2022.

Davis Larssen, Chief Executive Officer of Proserv Controls, added: “The transition to a more varied and sustainable energy mix is moving forwards rapidly and it is vital companies like Proserv harness its heritage and know-how in subsea controls to innovate exciting new technologies. ECG represents the perfect example of the sharing of cutting-edge expertise, across a consortium, to build a solution that will offer a transformation in offshore wind subsea cable health monitoring capabilities.”