RenewableUK has announced that the offshore wind industry is providing funding to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to test new concepts and technologies.
The solutions will help in the construction of more offshore projects in areas that were previously not permitted due to impact on air defence radars.
Under the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and the UK Government have partnered to mitigate the challenges faced by offshore wind deployment.
Last month, the MoD’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) awarded contracts to five companies to develop technologies that will eliminate offshore wind farms’ interference on air defence radar system.
The contracts follow an investment worth £2m by the UK Government. The companies are Thales, QinetiQ, Saab, TWI and Plextek DTS.
The new agreement provides funding to test different mitigation concepts and technologies such as new radars that can distinguish between wind turbines and aircraft.
This is expected to provide more new offshore wind farm sites, which will allow the industry to meet the net-zero emissions target of the UK.
The concept demonstrations are expected to occur this year.
Additionally, the senior Royal Air Force officer will be appointed to assume a role to liaison with the industry and Government for the next three years.
OWIC members, The Crown Estate, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables, SSE Renewables and Vattenfall Wind Power, and the Aviation Investment Fund Company provided funding to the MoD.
OWIC Aviation sponsor OWIC/MoD Aviation Programme Board co-chair SSE Renewables Capital Projects director Paul Cooley said: “Achieving this key milestone reflects the positive engagement achieved via the joint programme board, with the offshore wind industry, MoD and government working collaboratively to explore new technical solutions to industry-wide challenges.
“It is a great example of how the sector and key stakeholders can work together on the shared objective of delivering the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions.”