CEFAS, the Lowestoft-based marine scientific agency, has signed a major contract with East Anglia Offshore Wind (EAOW) to provide data in support of its planned development in the North Sea.

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EAOW, a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall, has been created to the development of the East Anglia Zone of the North Sea, which is estimated to have the potential to meet the equivalent electricity needs of 4.6 million homes.

The three-year project to be carried out by CEFAS, an agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will involve the deployment, operation and servicing of directional waverider buoys and seabed mini-landers to produce “metocean” data.

Directional waverider buoys measure wave height, period and direction, while mini-landers acquire current profile, wave, water depth and suspended sediment data.

Siân Limpenny, Cefas’ offshore renewable energy programme director, said: “We are pleased to continue working with EAOW to deliver their metocean needs. The science base and monitoring services that Cefas offer have the potential to reduce costs associated with developing the East Anglia Zone and add a wider understanding of the marine environment.

“The offshore renewables sector is strategically important for the development of future energy needs in the UK. The wave data we collect during this project – which will be relayed back to Cefas in near real-time – will also contribute to a national network of wave monitoring stations. This data is then publicly accessible through our WaveNet website.”

EAOW programme director Andy Paine said: “We are delighted to be working with Cefas, who are a locally based East Anglian business and have an internationally recognised reputation and wide-ranging capability in the marine sector.

“Their multidisciplinary approach will help us refine our design process with the goal of reducing

the overall costs associated with our projects.”

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