Offshore wind research programme launched

Thursday, 1 September, 2016 - 11:00
“In-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognised as vital to maximising the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector,” said Adam Ezzamel, Project Director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall. (Photo: Vattenfall)
“In-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognised as vital to maximising the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector,” said Adam Ezzamel, Project Director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall. (Photo: Vattenfall)

To study the environmental impact of offshore wind energy, Swedish energy company Vattenfall has launched a scientific research programme. Aberdeen Offshore Wind Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Vattenfall, has dedicated a budget of €3 million to the project up to half of which will come from the EU.

The scientific research and monitoring programme will be hosted at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). For the research site a wind park with a capacity of up to 100 MW is planned, which will consist of eleven 8.4 MW wind turbines. According to preliminary project details, full commission of the wind farm is scheduled for 2018.

Adam Ezzamel, Project Director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall, said: “In-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognised as vital to maximising the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector. We’re pleased that the research will take place at the EOWDC as it underlines the importance of the scheme as a global hub of innovation. We are working collaboratively with a number of key environmental agencies to allocate the research budget, and look forward to working closely with the successful parties to facilitate exceptional science.”

A scientific panel advising on the allocation of the fund has called on scientists to apply for funding to study the environment around the planned wind park. The closing date for expressions of interest in the research programme is September 2, 2016.

Panel members, who will decide which applications merit funding, include Vattenfall, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and The Crown Estate.

Aly McCluskie, senior conservation scientist at RSPB Scotland, said: “Offshore wind has huge potential to help reduce our carbon emissions but we need to improve our understanding of its environmental effects to help ensure developments happen without harming wildlife.”

Here you can find more information about the EOWDC scientific research and monitoring programme.

Tanja Peschel / Vattenfall

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