Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

World's largest turbine blades to be made in Britain

Britain will manufacture the world’s largest wind turbine blades, thanks to grants for offshore wind energy firms arranged by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband has announced grants will go to Clipper Windpower, Artemis Intelligent Power and Siemens Wind Power UK.

Clipper will receive £4.4M to develop a prototype blade measuring over 70m in length and weighing over 30t – the largest in the world – for the Britannia project. The company will now start development work for the blades on a plant in the North East of England, which will employ 60 people by the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Artemis will have £1M to transfer their existing technology from automotive to wind energy, and Siemens will get £1.1M to develop the next generation power convertors for their larger offshore turbine.

Consolidating our lead

Announcing the grants, Miliband said the UK is “consolidating its lead” in offshore wind energy, and that the sector could employ tens of thousands of workers by 2020.

“It will take an active government to get us there,” he said, “and the funds I’m announcing today are part of the £120M investment we are making this year and next in the wind industry to make that happen.”

The grants are awarded under the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration (LCED) capital grants scheme. The first company to receive one of the grants was Vestas Technology UK Ltd in July.

“DECC’s leadership in initiating and expediting the grant program is timely and will help to accelerate our planning for and delivery of the Britannia project.”

James G.P. Dehlsen, Clipper Windpower

Despite the grant for its research and development centre, Vestas controversially closed its wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight – the only such factory in the UK – soon afterwards due to “unfavourable market conditions” (NCE 12 August). The grants to be awarded under phase 1 of the LCED will total £10M.

Clipper Windpower chairman James G.P. Dehlsen welcomed the company’s grant. “DECC’s leadership in initiating and expediting the grant program is timely and will help to accelerate our planning for and delivery of the Britannia project,” he said. “We are appreciative of the support and look forward to the opportunity to continue to work closely with DECC.”

Ed Miliband said: “We already have more offshore wind energy than any other country, we have the biggest wind farm in the world about to start construction, and now we’ll see the biggest turbine blades in the world made here in Britain.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.