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BAE, BVT Look to Wind Farms

GLASGOW, UK - BAE Systems, together with its naval joint venture BVT Surface Fleet, is applying its engineering expertise to help build the wind farms of the future, through its role in an offshore turbine project announced today by the Engineering and Technologies Institute (ETI).

Project Deepwater Turbine will develop new approaches for offshore turbines in depths of 30 to 300 metres and determine the feasibility of a 5MW floating offshore wind farm. As a member of the Blue H Technologies consortium supporting the Deepwater project, BVT and BAE Systems will provide engineering process expertise and lead in high voltage concept design.

The initiative marks a step change in the defence group's involvement in the renewables market, demonstrating its ability to apply its core engineering skills to support the development of emerging technologies.

Project Deepwater Turbine is one of the first four to receive funding from the ETI, a unique partnership between industry and the UK Government, established to support the achievement of the UK's targets for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

BAE Systems has already been working with developers, radar operators and government to resolve issues around wind farm development. One of the major impediments to the expansion of this sector is the impact of turbines on radar performance of aircraft, affecting around 4,000 MW of potential power. Its work to date includes advising the Tween Bridge planning enquiry, resulting in the E.ON development being given consent in February 2008. BVT has also previously provided electrical distribution system design on Crystal Rig II, Green Knowes and the largest land based wind farm in Europe at Whitelee.

Speaking after the ETI announcement Head of Concept and Research Engineering and Adjacent Markets at BVT, Dougie Sharp, said: "This announcement is a great opportunity both for the renewables and defence sector to work together to achieve energy and climate change targets. The UK defence industry has an exceptional level of specialist skills which can easily be diversified into the energy sector and as proven with the announcement today and recent projects such as BVT's work on the largest land based wind farm in Europe, we are building up a strong track record in the delivery of some world class projects."

Les Gregory, Strategy and New Business Director and CTO of BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies, said: "Our holistic approach to addressing complex problems gives us a unique perspective and capabilities, which have further applications across the renewable energy market.'

The project team will consider a number of design factors in order to lower the cost of energy generation to a competitive level. These include ways to reduce the weight and complexity of wind conversion technology, enable economic manufacturing of the unit, float the system rather than construct it on the seabed as is traditionally the case, and reduce installation and through life maintenance costs.

BVT Surface Fleet, a Joint Venture between BAE Systems and VT Group, is a leader in the design, manufacture, integration and support of naval ships, delivering complex engineering, integration and through-life support across the lifecycle of a vessel. With operations in Glasgow, Portsmouth and Filton near Bristol, it employs over 7,000 people and has the facilities, skills and partnerships to set the global standard in excellence as a trusted and innovative through-life surface warship partner in both the UK and export markets.

BAE Systems is the premier global defense and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15.7 billion (US$31.4 billion) in 2007.

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