A North Tyneside offshore specialist is creating new green jobs after winning a securing a slice of a £1.7m cash pot.
Kinewell Energy in North Shields, North Tyneside, was one of five firms which was invited to demonstrate its advancements in the TIGGOR programme, administered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and backed by offshore wind industry giants Equinor and EDF Renewables.
A total of £1.7m match funding was made available through the first round of the TIGGOR programme’s technology demonstration strand, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) as part of its wider energy, green growth and climate change commitments.
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The electrical engineering consultancy was created by Andrew Jenkins as a PhD graduate at Newcastle University. He received support through the university’s Start Up programme in 2014 when he won the Newcastle heat of a Santander business plan competition.
Kinewell Energy officially launched in North Shields in 2015, to develop and commercialise innovative technologies that add significant value and impact positively on social and environmental challenges.
Since launching as a one-man team, Mr Jenkins has developed KLOC (Kinewell Layout Optimisation of Cable) software, which helps to optimise the inter-array layouts of offshore wind farms.
The software is estimated to save the wind farm developers around 20% of an offshore wind cable system’s capital expenditure over the project lifetime – and it was highly commended at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) 2016 innovation awards, a year before it was commercialised and began to see its first revenues.
KLOC has been licensed to the European, Japanese, US and Chinese offshore wind markets, delivering over 13.1 GW of offshore wind cable layout optimisation projects, in addition to projects undertaken by clients under license.
Now Kinewell Energy is creating eight new jobs, on the back of the TIGGOR-funded project which will see it develop a new game-changing technology related to offshore cable systems.
Mr Jenkins said the project will substantially contribute towards the industry’s continuous cost reduction trajectory.
Some of the new jobs are part-funded by the UK Government Kickstart Scheme and are aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment.
The jobs also follow innovation support through the Innovation SuperNetwork’s Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project, the North East Business Innovation Centre’s Innovation Programme, and RTC North’s Supply Chain North East.
Andrew Jenkins, CEO and founder of Kinewell Energy
(Image: Kinewell Energy)
Andrew Jenkins, CEO and founder, said: “We are growing rapidly now and thanks to the TIGGOR programme are looking to taken eight members of staff. Until now we’ve had arrangements with freelance consultants but things are really taking off now.
“We are creating a new product and plan to use the Government’s Kickstarter programme to do research and development. We are really tapping into young people’s enthusiasm for Net Zero and will help guide them to create something that’s new. And if it works they will be creating their own sustainable jobs, going forward.”
He added that the university Start Up scheme had been invaluable.
He said: “The Start Up team at Newcastle University has been extremely useful to me and to the growth and development of Kinewell Energy. As a PhD graduate, they have supported with business coaching and have always been available as a great resource to bounce ideas around and help problem solve.
“Through Tracy Clarkson, my Start Up/Tedco business advisor, I have been signposted to other extremely useful local schemes and support structures that are now delivering significant added value to the business and broadening the horizons of what can be achieved through Kinewell Energy.”
The other firms to receive funds through the TIGGOR programme are Transmission Dynamics in Cramlington, Wallsend’s SMD, and Newcastle-based Trident Dynamics and Unasys.