Offshore wind power in the United Kingdom is big news, and the Energy Technologies Institute believes it could be even bigger. According to a recent release, offshore wind farms in deepwater areas off the coast of the U.K.–long thought untenable, due to increased foundation costs–would reap larger wind harvests, making them profitable over time.
Project Deepwater–a consortium led by Blue H with BAE Systems, the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture (CEFAS), EDF, Romax Technology Ltd, SLP Energy and PAFA Consulting Engineers–was launched by the ETI in January 2009 to examine the feasibility of deepwater wind power.
ETI’s Chief Executive Dr. David Clarke said, in a statement, “The cost of foundations does get more expensive as you go into deeper water but the wind speeds in much of the UK deep water are significantly stronger and more consistent which results in a more reliable and higher energy output. Over time, this more than outweighs the additional foundation costs and gives an overall lower cost of energy.” Deepwater wind turbines are considered to be those sited in water ranging from 70 to 300 meters (299 to 984 feet) deep.
The project has also suggested that foundation costs might be allayed through the use of floating, tension-mounted turbines.
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