UK kicks off construction on 15 MW wind turbines

Construction has started on a wind turbine drive train test facility with a capacity of 15 MW at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in Northumberland, northeastern England, Narec said today on its website.

According to the announcement, the GBP-35-million (USD 55m/EUR 42m) wind power facility will be the largest of its kind in the world. It is scheduled to be commissioned in summer 2013.

The wind enegy facility would "accelerate technology development and time to market for the UK offshore wind farm industry," Tony Quinn, Narec director of major projects and assets, said. "It will provide Narec with a controlled environment to test the next generation of offshore wind turbines in accordance with international standards, before they are deployed in large numbers offshore," Quinn added.

The Energy Technologies Institute, a partnership between the UK government and six private companies, has poured GBP 25 million in the project. The amount is to be provided to the Power Conversion business of GE Energy, a division of General Electric Co, and US test systems supplier MTS Systems Corp to design, develop and commission the test rig.