SCOTTISH renewables specialist SeaEnergy has formed a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University - aimed at driving down costs in the offshore wind energy industry.

The Aberdeen-based renewable energy services company announced the tie-up yesterday. The KTP involves the development of an operational and economic model for life-cycle cost of operations and maintenance strategies in offshore windfarms, and is supported by the UK Government-funded Technology Strategy Board.

SeaEnergy chief executive John Aldersey-Williams said the KTP would "lead the way on cost reduction for the offshore wind industry".

Sean Huff, from the Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University, will work on the project with Mike Comerford, SeaEnergy's director of operations.Mr Huff said: This RGU-SeaEnergy partnership is an outstanding opportunity to play an integral part in spurring innovation and driving down costs for the offshore wind industry in the UK."

National energy plans outline the deployment of more than 40,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity in UK waters, with similar amounts planned elsewhere in Europe, SeaEnergy noted. It added that the total cost of operations and maintenance for the UK wind farm fleet could amount to £50 billion over the 20 to 25-year project life and the selection of the optimal strategy would be critical to the projects' economic performance.