New £850,000 turbine-performance database aims to help wind farmers cut cost of generating electricity

Crown EstateThe Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, The Crown Estate, and offshore wind farm owner/operators have launched a major new collaboration programme aimed at cutting down the cost of electricity generated by offshore wind farms.

The £850,000 project will create a database for sharing anonymised offshore wind farm performance and maintenance data. 

 Wind farmers will be provided with robust and reliable benchmarked data for the first time, helping to identify operational improvements and cost reduction opportunities at both company and sector-wide levels. 

Initially, the SPARTA project (SPARTA (System Performance, Availability and Reliability Trend Analysis) will be developed for UK-based projects, but the set-up is fully flexible and allows for the integration of international projects.

ORE Catapult will fund and manage the SPARTA system in close collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC).

SPARTA’s owner/operators Centrica, RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil have already committed to support the project   by actively participating in a steering group to ensure that the key output – monthly reporting – provides valuable data which will inform future operational and maintenance decisions.

A pilot project will run until March 2015 after which a full-scale implementation of the reporting system is planned.

Huub den Rooijen, The Crown Estate’s head of offshore wind, said: “With the largest base of operating turbines in the world, the UK offshore wind sector has an unrivalled knowledge base to draw on.

 “For the first time, SPARTA creates a way for industry to use this to its strategic advantage, providing access to a wealth of information that will enable operators to better understand the performance of their wind farms and where there might be opportunities for cost reduction.” 

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