The programme will be hosted at the wind farm developer’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). A scientific panel advising on the allocation of the fund, made up of specialists in the field, has called on scientists to apply for funding to study the environment around the 11-turbine scheme.
Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall, said: “In-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognised as vital to maximising the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector. We’re pleased that the research will take place at the EOWDC as it underlines the importance of the scheme as a global hub of innovation.
“We are working collaboratively with a number of key environmental agencies to allocate the research budget, and look forward to working closely with the successful parties to facilitate exceptional science.”
Panel members, who will decide which applications merit funding, 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.”
More information about the EOWDC scientific research and monitoring programme and scientific panel is available here.
The closing date for expressions of interest in the research programme is September 2.