The Offshore Wind Accelerator programme was set up by the Carbon Trust two-and-a-half years ago in collaboration with nine UK wind farm developers to identify and commercialise technologies and innovations that could reduce the costs of offshore wind by 10% by 2015.
The current participants, including DONG Energy, E.ON, RWE Innogy, ScottishPower Renewables, SSE Renewables, Statoil, Mainstream Renewable Power and Statkraft, are now joined by Vattenfall, which owns the second largest fleet of offshore wind farms in the world.
The Swedish company owns half of a joint venture to develop the 7.2 GW East Anglia Zone and has now invested more than £1 million to join the Offshore Wind Accelerator.
"By signing up with the OWA... Vattenfall is demonstrating its commitment to delivering UK offshore wind potential and significant cost reduction," says the company's head of wind power research and development, Jens Madsen. "We have been impressed by the strategic alliances that are being forged across the UK to ensure that offshore wind plays a key role in achieving renewable energy targets and more reliable and affordable power."
Phil de Villiers, head of offshore wind at the Carbon Trust, says that Vattenfall will bring valuable experience to the effort to solve the challenges facing the offshore wind industry.
"Bringing down the cost of offshore wind is an absolute priority for the industry," he says. "We believe that industry collaboration on key innovation projects that offer scope for dramatic cost reduction is the best way to go."