Barrow windfarm owner links with major universities
Walney Wind Farm owner Dong Energy has signed up to a five-year programme designed to reduce the cost of electricity generated by offshore wind.
It will work with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and the Universities of Sheffield, Durham - with which Dong has an existing partnership - and Hull in the scheme, which is being supported by the government.
This was announced, by Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, who said the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will support the programme with £3.2m. Dong and Siemens are also contributing £2.5m and including the contributions from the three universities the project's funding totals £7.6m.
The EPSRC funding is part of Partnerships for a Prosperous Nation, a multi-million pound investment to strengthen links between the UK's research base, industry and business.
Benj Sykes, UK country manager for wind power said: "This is a fantastic outcome for the future of the offshore wind industry. Since our partnership with Durham University began in 2011, we have provided funding of more than £2m to support research to accelerate the advancement of offshore wind technology, which will ultimately help to lower costs."
"This further funding from the EPSRC demonstrates the government's support for this technology, and shows that industry, academia and Government are continuing to collaborate to maintain the UK's status as the global leader in offshore wind.
"The cost of offshore wind has come down so rapidly in the past few years, that in 2016 the industry beat the 2020 target it and the government set in 2012, four years early. As we build more offshore windfarms in the UK, we are investing heavily in operations and maintenance activities so understanding if these costs can be reduced by 'condition monitoring' is key in our aim to reduce costs further.
"As we continue to work closely with Durham University, and also in partnership with Siemens, University of Sheffield and the University of Hull, we look forward to the outcome of bringing two global leaders in offshore wind together with world-class academic researchers to deliver solutions that will continue the cost reduction journey of offshore wind."