Sustainable Energy

Renewable energy powerhouse signs research agreement with University of Oxford

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Danish renewable energy business Orsted has signed a five-year research agreement with the U.K.'s University of Oxford.

The agreement will see the company and university team up to optimize the design of foundation structures used for offshore turbines.

Orsted is working with a number of universities to boost both the performance and design of offshore wind turbines. It is already, for instance, involved in a "major collaboration" relating to wind turbine design with Durham University, also in the U.K.

Regarding the agreement with Oxford, Orsted Wind Power's head of R&D, Christina Aabo, said that the partnership would allow the business to "further mature our foundation designs to support even bigger turbines in even deeper waters, lowering costs and risk level at the same time."

The research agreement between Orsted and Oxford will focus on cyclic loading. Orsted described this as being the repeated loading that occurs from the action of both wind and waves on the structure and operation of the turbine.

"This exciting new phase of collaboration with Orsted will put the next generation of offshore wind farms on more secure and cost-effective foundations through robust design methods for cyclic loading," Byron Byrne, professor of engineering science at the University of Oxford, said. "This will be challenging, but essential if the cost of offshore wind energy is to be further reduced."

Orsted is involved with several major offshore wind projects. These include Hornsea Project Two, an offshore wind farm in the North Sea that, when operational, will be the world's largest.