Research scheme aimed at cutting offshore wind costs

Major power generation companies are to work alongside the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and University College Dublin on a research and development (R&D) project, Pile Soil Analysis (PISA), aimed at reducing the price of offshore wind power by 35–40 per cent by 2020.

Dong Energy, RWE, Statoil, Statkraft, SSE, Scottish Power and Vattenfall are all involved with the project to be run under the framework of the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), a UK Government-supported initiative established to promote offshore wind energy and reduce the cost of energy.

DONG Energy wind power senior vice-president Bent Christensen said, "The cost of energy from offshore wind turbines must be reduced.

"If this can be reduced, even by a fraction, without compromising on quality and strength, there will be significant savings made in developing offshore wind."

"We expect to find significant savings by trimming monopile sizes and finding new ways of installing the foundations, amongst others. Consequently, we believe a significant contribution can come from this area towards our efforts of reducing the price of offshore wind power by 35-40 per cent by 2020."

The task of the working group is to find technological solutions to be implemented in time for the design and construction of the large Round 3 offshore wind projects in the UK, and publish its final report in early 2015.

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