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The U.K.-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, The Crown Estate and offshore wind farm owner/operators have launched a new collaboration program aimed at improving wind turbine operational performance by increasing safety, reliability and availability, thereby cutting the cost of electricity generated from offshore wind.

The SPARTA project will create a database for sharing offshore wind farm performance and maintenance data, and the project partners say owner/operator participants will be provided with robust and reliable benchmarked data.

Initially, SPARTA will be developed for U.K.-based projects, but the setup is fully flexible and allows for the integration of international projects, the partners note. SPARTA was initiated in 2013 by The Crown Estate in collaboration with DNV GL and was inspired by the offshore oil industry's long-established Offshore Reliability Database known as OREDA.

ORE Catapult will fund and manage the SPARTA system in close collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Centre. Owner/operators Centrica, RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil have already committed to support the project  by actively participating in a steering group to ensure that the key output - monthly reporting - provides valuable data.

A pilot project will run until March 2015, after which time a full-scale implementation of the reporting system is planned.




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