£15m fund to cut costs of deep water wind turbines

Researchers and wind power firms will be able to vie for cash from a £15million fund to develop new, less expensive foundations for offshore wind farms. Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Researchers and wind power firms will be able to vie for cash from a £15million fund to develop new, less expensive foundations for offshore wind farms.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced the fund for prototype turbine foundations in water depths greater than 30 metres earlier today.

Foundation structures currently account for around 16% of total offshore wind project costs. Estimates suggest more innovation in this area could lead to a 9% saving.

This would be a step towards slashing the cost of offshore wind generation by around a third to £100 per megawatt hours (MWh) by 2020, as outlined in the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force report, published in June last year.

Mr Ewing said: “The fund will help lower costs in developing the foundations needed for wind turbines in deeper water and more varied seabed conditions – currently the second largest cost associated with this type of project. It should also benefit Scottish companies through the supply chain, securing jobs and boosting our economic recovery.”