The 4000 m2 offshore wind turbine blade facility is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2010.
The factory will be used to develop and build offshore wind turbine blades for the ‘Britannia Project’, a 10 MW offshore wind turbine prototype under development by Clipper. The prototype is scheduled for deployment in late 2012.
The offshore wind turbine blades will be 72 m long and weigh over 30 tonnes.
James G.P. Dehlsen, Chairman of Clipper, says: “Over the next few years, with the development of the Britannia turbine the UK will benefit through the supply of electricity based on its abundant offshore wind energy resource, and also with economic activity related to turbine manufacturing, offshore installation, and long term operations and servicing. The offshore wind market in the UK is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting sectors in the global renewable energy industry.”
Andrew Mill, CEO of the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), says: “Today’s announcement is excellent news for the region and provides a shot in the arm for industry on the region’s rivers, which are well placed to take advantage of an industry set to be worth £100 billion in the UK alone by 2020.”
Narec is creating a national technology advancement hub for the offshore wind industry in North East England, working with global turbine, blade, electrical infrastructure manufacturers and wind farm developers on their large turbine, blade and associated equipment development programmes.
Narec recently announced construction of a 100 m offshore wind turbine blade facility, extending its current capability to test the largest of offshore blades.
Earlier this week, the UK Energy technologies Institute (ETI) and One North East (ONE) announced plans to design the “world’s largest open access offshore wind turbine drive train test rig.”