The trial forms part of the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator programme, whose members include Vattenfall, RWE and Scottish power.
According to the Carbon Trust, the trial will involve up to five different offshore wind measurement devices. It is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.
Sites include Neart na Gaoithe and East Anglia, off the Scottish and English North Sea coasts respectively.
Floating Lidar companies will receive access to these locations, data from the meteorological mast, and analysis of comparison data from an independent third party.
Wind measurement at offshore sites is lagging behind its onshore counterpart. Many estimates of offshore wind locations are based on measurements from onshore locations.
Currently meteorological masts are installed, however lidar has the potential to cut cost by as much as 90%.
The suppliers are EOLOS LiDAR Buoy of EOLOS, Spain – planned to deploy at IJmuiden (formerly known as Egmond aan Zee) off the Netherlands. Flidar of FLiDAR, Belgium – deployed already at Neart na Gaoithe. WindSentinel of AXYS, Canada – planned to deploy at East Anglia. Up to two further devices to be trialled at IJmuiden and East Anglia.
As an example of this, when RWE cancelled its plans to develop the 1200MW Atlantic Array project in the Bristol channel, it was revealed no wind analysis had been taken. The project had been in development since the 2000s.
The £45 million research, development and demonstration programme is an industry collaboration to identify and commercialise innovations that can reduce the costs of offshore wind.