The Carbon Trust - Offshore Wind Accelerator -

Website: The Carbon Trust - Offshore Wind Accelerator

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Year Founded: 2008


Experienced and knowledgeable programme managers for offshore wind and R&D activity; contact with key offshore wind developers and supply chain members; support in accessing funding from governments and major organisations; connections with many test sites and facilities.


The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is Carbon Trust's flagship collaborative RD&D programme between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers that was set up in 2008. The current phase of the OWA joint industry project involves nine offshore wind developers; these OWA partners account for 76% of Europe’s installed capacity. The OWA programme aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind as well as provide insights regarding industry standard (and best practice) health and safety requirements.

Capability Statement

The Carbon Trust has established its reputation as an independent expert in offshore wind R&D and technology innovation since the inception of the Offshore Wind Accelerator in 2008. With nine leading offshore wind developers, and the support of Scottish Government, the OWA has a track record in reducing the cost of offshore wind through innovations such as 66kV cables, supporting new access vessels, commercialisation of floating LiDAR and development of new foundation concepts.

The Carbon Trust is also an independent advisor to many companies and governments across the globe, with advisory work in offshore wind extending to USA, Japan and Taiwan in recent years.

Development Activities

The OWA is structured around five research areas that are directed by a Technical Working Group (TWG) with relevant experts from each of the OWA partners. The working groups, managed by the Carbon Trust, meet regularly to discuss the challenges in each of the research areas and are updated on ongoing projects. The Steering Committee oversees the strategic direction for the overall programme and is made up of senior representatives from the nine OWA partners.

The five working groups are:

  • Access
  • Cable Installation
  • Electrical Systems
  • Foundations
  • Wakes & Wind Resource

There are two types of OWA project; common and discretionary. Common projects comprise the core OWA programme and all OWA partners are involved. Common projects are generally desk based or research studies. and are run on an annual cycle. Discretionary projects may involve all or just some of the OWA partners, and certain discretionary projects can be open for non-OWA partners to join. Discretionary projects also differ from the common R&D programme as they are generally demonstration projects rather than research studies and are run on an ad hoc basis.

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