Vattenfall AB has shortlisted 16 projects for a EUR-3-million (USD 3.2m) scientific offshore wind research programme at its 11-turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), also known as the Aberdeen offshore wind farm.
A panel including environmental agencies, scientists, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and Vattenfall representatives, has selected the projects out of almost 100 applications. The successful projects are expected to be identified by the end of the year.
The shortlisted proposals focus on areas such as analysis of distribution and movement of different bird, mammal and fish species; exploring the effect of offshore wind on the environment and societies; and geology.
Up to 50% of the funding for the programme at the 92.4-MW near-shore wind energy centre is provided by the EU.
"Understanding possible interactions between offshore windfarms and our marine wildlife is key to the sustainable growth of the industry in Scotland," commented Erica Knott, Scottish Natural Heritage's (SNH) representative on the panel. Knott added that the shortlisted projects target some key uncertainties in the area, resolution of which should inform and streamline the future consenting process.