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United Kingdom

UK Crown Estate to offer up deep water sites

UK: The Crown Estate, which controls the UK's territorial waters, is to announce plans to open up test sites in deeper waters in the North Sea.

The Crown Estate said it would be announcing details of the demonstration sites in September as part of the UK's study into lowering the cost of energy for offshore wind.

The move would mean the development of floating platforms, which are being trialled by companies including Siemens and Statoil (Hywind), and Vestas and EDP (WindFloat).

It comes as the US and UK signed a deal at this week's Clean Energy Ministerial in London to co-operate on the development of floating platforms for wind turbines.

In October,the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) earmarked £25 million (€28.7 million) for an offshore floating-turbine pilot. It is seeking more funding from other partners before the project launches in 2016.

The ETI plans to design, construct and install the pilot at a relatively near-shore site with wind speeds of up to 10m/s at 60- to 100-metre water depth.

Speaking at the time, David Clarke, ETI CEO, said: "We expect there is likely to be a considerable global market for floating wind turbines which can be developed in the UK."

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