New offshore wind turbine testing facility
01 Apr 2011
SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy plc) is planning to develop Scotland’s first offshore wind turbine testing facility at Clydeport’s Hunterston site in North Ayrshire.
The proposed new facility will be an extension of SSE’s Glasgow-based Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy (CEERE), and in partnership with leading turbine suppliers, will be used to develop and test up to three prototypes for the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
SSE will now develop a proposal for a five-year planning consent for submission to North Ayrshire Council and, if successful, it is expected that construction of the facility will begin in 2012. The project has already secured support from Scottish Enterprise.
This announcement follows
- the March 2011 formation of a joint venture with Marsh Wind Technology Ltd to secure the future of the Skykon wind turbine tower manufacturing and assembly plant at Machrihanish, Campbeltown;
- the February 2011 formation by SSE of an alliance of companies, including Siemens, to collaborate on its offshore wind programme, with the aim of securing substantial reductions in the cost of delivered power;
- the July 2010 strategic agreement between SSE and Mitsubishi to co-operate on low carbon energy developments; and
- the April 2010 acquisition by SSE of a 15% stake in Burntisland Fabrications Ltd, the offshore energy structure fabricator.
SSE’s Director of Offshore Renewables, Jim Smith said: “Our Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy is already attracting both leading and new players in the renewable energy sector to Scotland, creating hundreds of new, highly skilled jobs. This new facility will further establish Scotland as a centre of expertise for offshore wind and play a crucial part in helping SSE realise its renewable energy goals.
“The continuous development of offshore wind technologies is essential if we are to reduce the cost of generation from offshore wind farms - through reduced capital cost, improved efficiency, and reliability once in operation. The offshore wind testing facility will play a key role in assuring product reliability before deploying the next generation of offshore wind turbines in large scale commercial developments in the UK and beyond.”