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The world’s biggest wind turbine blades could be made in the UK

UK Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband, has said the world’s biggest wind turbine blades will be made in the UK as he announced grants for three offshore wind energy companies.

“With strong government backing, the UK is consolidating its lead in offshore wind energy. We already have more offshore wind energy than any other country, we have the biggest windfarm in the world about to start construction, and now we’ll see the biggest turbine blades in the world made here in Britain.”

The three companies are:

  • Clipper Wind Power - £4.4 million to develop their first prototype 70 m wind turbine blade for the Britannia project – said to be the largest wind turbines in the world;
  • Artemis Intelligent Power - £1 million to transfer their existing technology from automotive to wind energy;
  • Siemens Wind Power UK - £1.1 million to develop the next generation power converters for their larger offshore turbine.

As a result of their award Clipper will start work the Britannia Project wind turbine blade development, which is anticipated to take place at a new 4000 m2 facility on the River Tyne in the North East of England by the start of April 2010. The plant will employ approximately 60 people by end of 2010. Once constructed, each blade will be more than 70 metres long and weigh over 30 tonnes.

The grants are awarded under phase 1 of the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration (LCED) capital grants scheme. Vestas Technology UK was the first company to receive an award under the scheme last month. The total amount awarded under phase 1 is £10 million.

James G.P. Dehlsen, Chairman of Clipper Windpower, says: “With the deployment of the 10 MW Clipper offshore turbine in UK waters, the nation will benefit from clean power, and also from the strong economic boost arising from the development and serial production of the turbines in the coming years.”

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