United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK to offer up deep water sites

UK: The Crown Estate, which regulates the UK's territorial waters, is to announce plans to award development rights for deep water test sites in the North Sea

The Crown Estate says it will announce details of deep water demonstration sites in September, as part of research  into lowering the cost of energy for offshore wind.

The announcement is a further indication of the UK's intention to develop floating platforms, which are being trialled by a number of companies, including Siemens and Statoil (Hywind) as well as Vestas and EDP (WindFloat). News of the deep water test sites 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 2011,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 a pilot at a relatively near-shore site with wind speeds of up to 10m/s and at a 60- to 100-metre water depth.

Speaking at the time of the ETI announcement, the institute's chief executive, David Clarke, 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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