Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) will test the drive train for their seven megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in Northumberland, this summer.
Andrew Mill, Chief Executive at Narec, said: “This is fantastic recognition for the team involved in getting the first independent test facility of this scale ready for the new breed of multi-megawatt offshore wind turbines. We are delighted that SHI has chosen to undertake performance and endurance testing in the controlled onshore laboratory at Narec as part of their design validation process.”The SHI nacelle is being shipped to Narec where it will be used to commission the 15MW rated independent wind turbine nacelle test facility. This will be followed by a six month programme of testing where its performance will be monitored under simulated offshore operating conditions, including extreme wind events.
Business and Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, said: “Britain has a real chance to lead the world in the offshore wind sector and is being supported by Government. Samsung Heavy Industries’ decision to undertake the testing of its new multi-megawatt offshore wind turbine at Narec’s pioneering test facility proves the benefits the facility can offer industry and demonstrates the opportunity for growth and jobs in the offshore sector.”
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25m in the Narec facility through the design, development, supplying and commissioning of the test rig by GE Energy-Power Conversion and MTS Systems Corporation.
David Clarke, CEO of the Energy Technologies Institute, said: “The confirmation of the Samsung Heavy Industries contract is a massive boost for both Narec and the UK Offshore Wind industry as a whole. It is evidence that the UK can create world leading engineering facilities for advancing technology innovation, which are attracting major industry operators and provide a welcome economic stimulus in a growing business sector.”
Narec has invested over £150 million of UK Government, private sector and European Union funding to create a unique integrated portfolio of research, testing and demonstration facilities for the offshore renewables industry, operated on an open-access, commercial basis in Blyth, Northumberland, England.
The 15 megawatt (MW) capacity Wind Turbine Drive Train Test Facility is an open access, onshore facility; open to all turbine developers on a commercial basis and can test turbines up to 10 MW at up to 50% over power.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a public-private partnership between global industries – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government. Public sector representation is through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with funding channelled through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Department of Energy and Climate Change are observers on the Board.
The ETI’s role is to bring together engineering projects that accelerate the development of affordable, secure and sustainable technologies that helps the UK address its long term emissions reductions targets as well as delivering nearer term benefits.