A £15M wind turbine testing facility will be built, as part of a number of low carbon measures outlined in the Pre-Budget Report.
The facility, to be run by the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) whic is based in Blyth, Northumberland, will be the largest ever, said science and innovation minister Lord Drayson and energy minister Lord Hunt.
A permanent site for the testing centre has yet to be decided, but will remain in the North East. A decision is expected in the next month.
The project is being funded by an £11.5M grant from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department for Energy and Climate Change, and £3.5M from the One North East Regional Development Agency.
It will allow huge prototype wind turbine blades, up to 100m in length, to be tested in motion for the first time.
Lord Drayson said: “I’m delighted that NaREC will be a major European centre for testing the next generation of new large turbine blades. This new facility will create skilled jobs in a high-value sector.”
NaREC CEO Andrew Mill said: “Future wind turbine blades are predicted to increase to up to 100m in length, for deployment offshore in the UK over the next 10 years and beyond, so it is absolutely vital for the industry that there are suitable facilities in the UK.”
Work on the site is to begin soon, with the test hall expected to be open by the middle of 2011. During construction, existing test facilities will remain open.