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Samsung’s prototype 7MW offshore wind turbine was this week delivered to Narec’s new test facilities in Blyth,
Northumberland, signalling the next step in the evolution of the mega-sized technology that will be used in the Round 3 offshore wind zones.
Initially, Samsung’s nacelle will be used to commission Narec’s £47 million independent 15MW capacity test facility, before a six-month testing programme begins on the nacelle.
During the test programme, some of the harshest climatic conditions will be simulated within the Narec facility, including wind gusts of up to 150mph and once-in-a-lifetime events, to ensure any performance issues can be identified and rectified before the technology is deployed offshore.
The 15MW test facility opened earlier this summer and has been designed to support the industry’s drive to make offshore wind power generation more competitive with other energy sources through up-scaling the technology and reducing the costs associated with at-sea failures.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has invested £25 million in the facility through the design, development and commissioning of the indoor test rig by GE Energy-Power Conversion and MTS Systems Corporation. The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government.
Andrew Mill, Narec’s chief executive said: “It is fantastic to see the delivery of Samsung’s nacelle as it brings us closer to seeing the next-generation technology becoming a reality.
“It also sends out a strong signal to the rest of the World that the UK is leading the way in implementing a more efficient route to market, a critical factor in the future success of the offshore wind industry.”
Dr David Clarke, CEO of the Energy Technologies Institute said: “The delivery by Samsung Heavy Industries of its turbine is a major milestone for Narec and the wider UK Offshore Wind industry. This is evidence that the UK can create world leading engineering facilities that can attract global industry operators providing welcome economic stimulus into the country and advancing technology innovation in a growing industry.”