North Tyneside based Kinewell Energy has been named ‘Energy Innovation of the Year’ at the North East Innovation Awards.
Taking place at the annual VentureFest North East conference, which celebrated a decade of bringing together innovators, the awards celebrated 10 innovations from across the region, from university spinouts to health and life sciences and inclusive innovations.
Kinewell Energy has developed and implemented ground-breaking technologies that are accelerating and reducing the cost of the global transition to a net-zero society, with a focus on offshore wind.
The firm is a market leader for creating solutions that optimise lifetime costs of large infrastructure projects, utilising advanced mathematical and artificial intelligence techniques. Rolled out across the globe, Kinewell’s ‘Layout Optimisation of Cable’ (KLOC) software and cloud-based web-app interface optimises cable layouts of offshore wind farms, to save over 20% of costs over a project’s lifespan.
Kinewell Energy developed the innovation with a share of £3.5m in match funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s TIGGOR programme delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. Over the past year, its success has seen the firm create five new jobs in the North East and has recruited from outside the resource constrained renewables sector to support the development and upskilling of people from across the region.
Dr Andrew Jenkins, founder and CEO of Kinewell Energy, said: “It’s a huge honour to have received the ‘Energy Innovation of the Year’ award at VentureFest.
“Since its launch in 2015, the KLOC software platform has gone on to help deliver some of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, cumulatively totalling over 13.1 GW and significantly reducing costs and lead times. It is not unusual for our team to add value to individual offshore wind projects of around US$50m.
“The company’s success is directly attributable to our fantastic North East based team developing and refining our unique world leading optimisation algorithms.”
Kinewell Energy also took the opportunity while exhibiting at Venturefest to launch its latest innovation, which has received the backing of three energy giants.
The new Heatmap Software Module will help improve the seabed surveying process during the planning phase of offshore wind farms.
Building on the success of its market leading KLOC software, which optimises offshore wind inter-array cable layouts, the heatmapping module was initially developed to improve the seabed surveying process during the planning phase of one of the USA’s largest offshore wind farms and has since been used with two further global energy giants, supporting projects cumulatively totalling over 6.5 GW of wind energy capacity.
The probabilistic heatmapping software allows developers to swiftly identify which areas of a seabed require detailed surveying early in the project – meaning less of the site needs to be surveyed and they can focus on the most important areas where inter-array cable is most likely to be laid. This helps developers significantly reduce overall project costs and lead times by eliminating the time and resource spent surveying swathes of undevelopable seabed.
Dr Jenkins added: “As one of the most innovative businesses in our region, our team thrive on developing solutions to overcome difficult challenges. We were thrilled when one of the largest offshore wind farms in the USA set us this challenge of identifying the most likely locations where inter-array cable might be placed despite such early project uncertainties.
“The result of our team’s efforts has been incredible. Not only has it enabled developers to produce more targeted seabed surveys, but it has also supported the optimisation of export system routing, reducing wind farm development costs while saving hundreds of design hours in the process.
“The need for the new probabilistic heatmap solution is clear, evidenced by three global energy giants utilising it on projects cumulatively totaling over 6.5 GW of wind energy capacity. We are now looking forward to rolling out the heatmap capability to our global Software as a Service (SaaS) client base as part of our wider KLOC inter-array cable layout optimisation software offering.”
Estelle Blanks, CEO at Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “Kinewell Energy are really at the forefront of ground-breaking technology in the offshore energy sector. Their KLOC software and whole approach to innovating in an inclusive way for maximum impact really impressed our judges. VentureFest has always been about bringing together talent, entrepreneurship, research and ideas.
“The Awards help us to really celebrate organisations and innovators from across the North East, including Kinewell Energy whose ideas are flourishing right here in our region. I extend my congratulations to Andrew, Henna and the team and eagerly anticipate their future achievements.”