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Narec builds 15 MW offshore wind drive train testing facility

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) has signed a £14.8 million contract with Shepherd Construction to delivery a 3000 m² building for offshore wind turbine drive train testing for nacelles up to 15 MW.

By Kari Williamson

Tony Quinn, Director of Major Assets and Projects at Narec, says: “This is the third new building being built by Shepherd Construction for Narec in Blyth as part of a £100m investment in the site. The 15 MW test facility will be commissioned in the summer of 2013 and will cement our position as a world leading centre for the research, development and demonstration of innovative offshore renewable energy technologies.”

The structure will be 32 m tall built with 1300 tonnes of steel, and will include a 43 m by 12 m test bed foundation with four metres deep with pile foundations.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25m in the Narec offshore wind turbine nacelle testing facility, providing funding to a consortium of Converteam and MTS Systems Corporation for the design, development and commissioning of the test rig.

Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive, says: "The test rig will allow both larger wind turbines to be tested and for a wider scope of testing to take place than is available in current facilities elsewhere in the world."

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