Believed to be the largest research programme of its kind, the programme will include in-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment, widely recognised as vital in building knowledge of the offshore wind sector.
A scientific panel, made up of specialists in the field, is advising on the allocation of the fund following a call to scientists to apply for funding to study the environment around the 11-turbine scheme.
The allocated €3million budget for dedicated scientific research will be half funded by the European Union.
Panel members include Vattenfall, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and The Crown Estate.
Aly McCluskie, senior conservation scientist at RSPB Scotland, said: “Offshore wind has huge potential to help reduce our carbon emissions but we need to improve our understanding of its environmental effects to help ensure developments happen without harming wildlife. This research programme at EOWDC provides an excellent opportunity to contribute towards this and RSPB Scotland are very pleased to support its launch.”
For more information about the Environmental Research Programme please read our press release which announced its launch in August:
Massive offshore wind research programme launched.
The call for expression of interests in the research programme closed on 2 September 2016; there were almost 100 responses. Throughout September and early October these applications were reviewed by the scientific panel. At the end of October all applicants were notified. Find out more about the shortlisted projects here.
Shortlisted candidates submitted their final bids at the end of November, these are currently being evaluated by the scientific panel.