World leading US-based turbine technology developer Clipper Windpower has been carrying out research and development at Narec’s Blyth facilities since 2007.
This activity will facilitate Clipper Windpower’s development of Project Britannia, the world’s most powerful commercial wind turbine. The 7.5 MW turbine under development is currently the world’s largest planned commercial turbine.
The company has previously won the US Department of Energy’s Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award for the development of the largest wind turbine manufactured in the USA, the Liberty Wind Turbine.
Activities in the region
Clipper Windpower’s presence in the region has been facilitated by Narec’s Blyth facilities, which provide the UK’s only blade testing facility for wind turbines. These facilities were critical in Clipper Windpower’s decision to base its R&D project in the region and are key toward attracting further investment in the region in a rapidly-growing area of renewable energy. Blyth has already established itself as a prestigious hub for the development of innovative wind power technologies, having provided the location for one of the first innovative onshore projects and the development of the first UK offshore wind farm Blyth offers an excellent location for the development of wind turbine technology and will provide significant expertise to Clipper Windpower.
The initial investment from Clipper Windpower is expected to create 25 new jobs in the region during 2009, and has received generous financial support from One North East, as well as support from Narec through the provision of technical services and facilities, for a period of two years.
With renewable energy set to play a major role in UK energy supply over the next 20 years, with the wind sector in particular a site of rapid development, the North East provides an unrivalled setting for future development. With the North Sea set to become the site of major new wind farms, investments such as Clipper Windpower’s look set to bring major new manufacturing investments to the North East, as well as a significant number of new jobs.
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