Offshore Wind Accelerator launches open source benchmarking competition to improve wind resource estimates

The competition will allow modellers access to six validation cases from operational wind farms in the North Sea, owned by the OWA’s industry partners. Industry and academic applicants are invited to participate to improve and strengthen their wake models.  

The OWA partners hope that this open source, collaborative methodology will help to progress the industry and allow more accurate energy yield predictions. 

Different validation datasets, taken from operational wind farms, will span a wide range of wind conditions related to wind farm topology and wind climate characteristics. These will be used to strength-test wind resource predictions, by comparing those predictions to real world examples. 

The staged benchmarking process is open for model developers and end-users to participate anonymously. The competition will run through several rounds through to December 2019. It is expected the work will provide a universally agreed methodology for validating wake models. 

The competition is being led by CENER and managed by the Carbon Trust with funding from the OWA partners – the Scottish Government, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, Innogy, Ørsted, Shell, SSE, Equinor, and Vattenfall. 

Liam Leahy, offshore wind manager at the Carbon Trust and programme manager for the OWA’s wakes and wind resource technical working group, said

“The continued improvement in wake modelling for the offshore wind industry has been a key theme under the OWA programme, and the value of assessing modelling against actual operational data is one of the most valuable exercises we can do as a group to support the offshore wind industry. Bringing together competition participants to allow them to assess their wake models will only improve the process in predicting energy estimates from offshore wind farms.”  


For further information, please contact the Carbon Trust press office on +44 (0)20 7170 7050 or email 

About the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA)  

The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is Carbon Trust's flagship collaborative RD&D programme. The joint initiative was set up between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers in 2008. The current phase involves nine offshore wind developers; these OWA partners account for 76% of Europe’s installed offshore wind capacity. The OWA programme aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind to be competitive with conventional energy generation, as well as provide insights regarding industry standard (and best practice) health and safety requirements. 

About CENER 

The National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER) develops applied research in renewable energies, and provides technological support to companies and energy institutions in six areas: wind, solar thermal and photovoltaic solar energy, biomass, smart and efficient buildings and districts, and grid integration of energy. CENER is a technology centre with worldwide recognised prestige, activity and experience. 

About the Carbon Trust 

Established in 2001, the Carbon Trust works with businesses, governments and institutions around the world, helping them contribute to, and benefit from, a more sustainable future through carbon reduction, resource efficiency strategies, and commercialising low carbon businesses, systems and technologies. 

The Carbon Trust: 

  • works with corporates and governments, helping them to align their strategies with climate science and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement; 
  • provides expert advice and assurance, giving investors and financial institutions the confidence that green finance will have genuinely green outcomes; and 
  • supports the development low carbon technologies and solutions, building the foundations for the energy system of the future. 

Headquartered in London, the Carbon Trust has a global team of 200 staff, representing over 30 nationalities based across five continents.