Vattenfall launches €3m offshore wind research programme in Aberdeen

Swedish renewables company invests more in wind farm research in hopes of future dividends for Scottish operations 

Swedish energy firm VATTENFALL has launched a scientific research programme worth €3m to investigate the environmental impacts of offshore wind in Aberdeen.

The programme will be the largest of its kind in Europe and will be hosted at the wind farm developer’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) where it will hold 11 turbines for testing.

Scientists from all over Europe will be eligible to apply for funding and collaboration with the programme which will be presided over by a panel of specialists in the offshore field.

EOWDC will have an installed capacity of up to 100 mega watts, with the potential to produce enough power for 68,000 UK households per annum.

Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall UK, 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."

The panel deciding which scientists get funding from the research programme will be made up of scientific experts, environmental campaign groups and energy stakeholders, including representatives from Vattenfall, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (of which the Swedish company owns a majority share), Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage (MSSSNH), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), and The Crown Estate.

"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." Adam Ezzamel

CommonSpace previously covered Vattenfall's foray into the Scottish renewable energy market when reporting on the company’s majority takeover of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited (AOWFL) and its £300m investment in a new test centre.

The EOWDC, also known as the Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, is an innovative 11 turbine project facility being developed by AOWFL.

Located off Aberdeen Bay, the EOWDC will have an installed capacity of up to 100 mega watts, with the potential to produce enough power for 68,000 UK households per annum.

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. 

"This research programme at EOWDC provides an excellent opportunity to contribute towards this and RSPB Scotland are very pleased to support its launch."

Picture courtesy of Vattenfall

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