Carbon Trust launches wakes effects measurement campaign

Project aims to raise offshore wind farms' yields

The Carbon Trust has unveiled a new research project aimed at cutting the cost of offshore wind by raising the energy yields. Its conclusions should aid the roll-out of the UK's Round 3 offshore wind farms.

The £2m (€2.4) wakes effects measurement project – part of the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator initiative – will provide detailed data on how turbines affect each other. It should help to raise prediction accuracy, cut financing costs and optimise wind farm layouts.

Six lidars have been installed at E.ON's Rødsand 2 wind farm in Denmark. They will measure wakes passing through the 207MW development for at least six months. The campaign will probably be extended for a further six months, Phil de Villiers, the Carbon Trust's head of offshore wind told Windpower Offshore.

The first set of data has already been gathered and will be shared with developers. The data should aid the understanding of how wind behaves offshore, enabling improved wind farm designs and layouts. This in turn should increase energy yields and improve projects' economics.

"The new wakes effects measurement campaign is very exciting as it will address the shortage of data that has constrained the development of wake effects models for offshore wind," explained de Villiers. "It offers potential to increase energy yields from offshore wind farms and also offers financiers greater certainty on the economics of the projects. We are confident that the data we collect will have a dramatic impact on the future of offshore wind energy, for the better."

It should also help to lever debt financing for the UK's Round 3 projects. By offering greater certainty on energy yields, risks will be reduced and projects will become more attractive as debt financing is sought.

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