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Working across industry to cut offshore wind costs

Did you know that a record was set last weekend on Sunday 17 August? During a particularly breezy day in the UK an impressive 22% of UK electricity was generated by wind over a 24 hour period.

Here at Centrica we are proud of the contribution that our offshore wind farms such as those at Barrow, Lynn, Inner Dowsing and Lincs made to this output, and with up to one third of UK power generation plants due to retire for age or environmental reasons by 2020, it also marks an important step towards a low-carbon future.

Whilst the UK must continue to strive to meet its commitments to reduce carbon emissions, as a society we also have an obligation to ensure that energy remains affordable. This is why Centrica has joined a major new project group in collaboration with eight key wind owner/operators to share knowledge and best practice, with the ultimate aim of driving down the cost of offshore wind farms.

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is an industry group that’s been set up with a unique remit to improve performance in operating and maintaining offshore wind farms. Working together, Centrica and Eon, SSE, EDF Energy Renewables, Scottish Power Renewables, Dong Energy, Vattenfall and RWE will develop and test innovative solutions to common issues such as blade erosion and cable damage.

Tony Lyon, Centrica’s Head of Renewables Operations & Maintenance, said: "Driving cost reduction in operations and maintenance will be a significant step towards achieving the key industry targets on the cost of energy generated from offshore wind, ensuring that the UK remains an attractive investment destination in a rapidly developing global market. This Forum is an important step forward in working towards this."

It is hoped that this project will help drive the industry a considerable way towards lowering the cost of energy generated from offshore wind to £100/MWh, helping us meet our commitment to securing future energy supplies that are both affordable and sustainable for our customers.

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