Building completed on offshore turbine

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Work has finished on a ground-breaking offshore wind turbine facility off the coast of Blyth.

The facility, at Narec in Blyth, is the first to test next generation multi-megawatt turbines offshore.

Construction of the structure that will house Narec’s 15 megawatt (MW) capacity wind turbine nacelle test rig has been formally completed six weeks ahead of schedule.

The handover of the new building by Shepherd Construction concludes design and building works for three new facilities on the site.

The new building – a 35 metre high, 3000 square meter hall – has been designed to accommodate a test rig which will conduct performance, endurance and compressed life testing of complete nacelles up to 15MW rating.

Narec chief executive Andrew Mill said: “We will be the first independent facility to undertake accelerated life testing of a next generation offshore wind turbine.

“The early completion of building works is a significant achievement and we expect to have completed our first commercial test programme by the middle of next year.

“This will have a significant impact on the improved design and operation of offshore wind turbines in the UK over the next 20 years.”

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25m in the Narec facility, by providing funding to GE Energy – Power Conversion and MTS Systems Corporation for the design, development and commissioning of the 15MW capacity test rig.