The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25m into the UK’s first dedicated full offshore wind turbine test facility. Capable of trialling 15MW machinery, the test rig will be based at the Narec research facility in Northumberland and could apparently help turbine designers keep costs down in the long run.
Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executivesaid: “Larger, more powerful wind turbines will need more rigorous testing and development before they are deployed in large numbers off the UK’s coasts. It is faster, cheaper and more effective to do this on land in a controlled, indoor, world-class facility than it is to try and do it for the first time out in the North Sea.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the state-of-the-art test facility showed the UK’s determination “to support the renewable energy sector that is helping to reshape the British economy for the future,” whileAndrew Mill, CEO of Narec said that demand from the industry to use the site is already high.
TheETI funds are drawn from private firms like BP and Rolls Royce as well as getting public funds that stem from the Department for Business Innovation (BIS).