A new €3 million scientific research programme to understand the environmental impacts of offshore wind – believed to be the largest of its kind – is to be launched at a new Scottish wind farm.
The programme will be hosted at Vattenfall’s new European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) to be built off the Aberdeenshire coast – a project bitterly, frequently and unsuccessfully, opposed by nearby golf-course owner and US Republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump.
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.
Panel members, who will decide which applications merit funding, include 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.
Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall project director, 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.
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.”
The closing date for expressions of interest in the research programme is 2 September 2016.
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