Carbon Trust launch £2m project to increase energy yields from offshore wind farms

The Carbon Trust today unveiled their latest research project designed to help cut the cost of offshore wind power by increasing the energy yields from Round 3 wind farms that will be located up to 290km from the UK coast.  The new £2m wake effects measurement project will provide detailed measurement data to the wind industry to help better understand how the wind behaves in complex situations offshore. This will help the industry to improve prediction accuracy, reduce financing costs and optimise windfarm layouts.   

The wakes effects measurement campaign project is part of the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator, a world leading industry collaboration with nine UK wind farm developers to identify and commercialise a series of innovations which can dramatically reduce the costs of offshore wind.

Specialist wakes monitoring equipment has been installed on the Rødsand 2 windfarm in Denmark and will measure wakes passing through the wind farm for at least 6 months. Data gathered from the project will help improve specialist software enabling developers to better predict how the wind will flow offshore to enable them to develop better and more efficient designs and layouts which in turn will increase the energy yields from offshore wind farms and in turn improve the economics of the offshore wind projects.

Bringing down the cost of offshore wind is an absolute priority for the industry. We believe that industry collaboration on key innovation projects that offer scope for dramatic cost reduction is the best way to go. The new wakes effects measurement campaign is very exciting as it will address the shortage of data that has constrained the development of wake effects models for offshore wind. It offers potential to increase energy yields from offshore wind farms and also offer financiers greater certainty on the economics of the projects. We are confident that the data we collect will have a dramatic impact on the future of offshore wind energy; for the better.

- Phil de Villiers, Head of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust


The project is also critical to help open up debt financing for the construction of Round 3 projects in the UK.  At present no UK offshore wind farm has been built with debt finance - in part because of the uncertainties around predicting the energy outputs from wind farms offshore.  This project has added importance as by offering greater certainty on energy yields it will help de-risk projects as they seek debt financing.  The project may also result in the layout of offshore wind farms looking very different in the future to how they look today.  The project will be of particular value to the 32GW of Round 3 projects as they move into detailed planning phases.


We are pleased to be able to apply our significant experience in aerodynamics and wind engineering to such a large scale Carbon Trust led project especially as it has the potential to significantly benefit the industry.

- Brian Gribben, Technical Manager at Frazer-Nash



Notes to editors:

Photos of measuring equipment being installed offshore at the Rødsand 2 windfarm in Denmark are available from Carbon Trust press office - please email the press team or phone 020 7170 7050

About the OWA:

The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is Carbon Trust's flagship collaborative RD&D programme. Set up in 2008, the OWA is a joint industry project, involving nine offshore wind developers with 77% (36GW) of the UK's licensed capacity, which aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind by 10% by 2015. Cost reduction is achieved through innovation. 

About Carbon Trust:

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:

  • advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world.
  • measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services.
  • helps develop and deploy low carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power.

About Frazer-Nash Consultancy

Frazer-Nash is an independent company of consulting engineers. Established in 1971 the company has grown significantly and today has offices across the UK and Australia. We use our systems engineering approach to enable our customers to achieve sustainable growth and commercial success within the defence, nuclear, power & energy, civil aerospace, rail, marine & petrochemical sectors.  More information is available at