United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Narec gets go-ahead on 100MW demo project

UK: The UK's National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) has been granted permission to build a 99.9MW offshore wind demonstration site off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland.

The 99.9MW offshore demonstration wind site in Blyth, Northumberland, with Narec’s offshore anemometry platform in the foreground
The 99.9MW offshore demonstration wind site in Blyth, Northumberland, with Narec’s offshore anemometry platform in the foreground

Marine Management Organisation provided the offshore renewable energy development organisation permission to build the £350 million (EUR420 million) project which consists of 15 turbines in three arrays in depths of 35, 45 and 55 metres. The first array is due to be completed in 2015.

Each array would be no bigger than 33.3MW, so combinations of four 7MW turbines, five 6MW turbines or six 5MW units would be feasible.

Northumberland Country Council granted consent for the onshore infrastructure including the substation, which will transfer power from the turbine to the grid.

Narec believes the site is pivotal in reducing costs associated with the UK’s Round 3 offshore wind projects.

Ignacio Martí Pérez, Narec's chief technology officer, told Windpower TV: "The next phase is to establish a commercial consortium to develop the project.

"It’s representative of Round 3 conditions, which is the best value of the project."

The site is intended to be used by manufacturers and wind farm developers to learn about the supply chain including studying alternative foundation types and construction methods for the development, deployment, operation and maintenance of new turbine technologies.

Andrew Mill, Narec’s chief executive, said: "We’re now in talks with potential investment partners to build out the demonstration site."

Shaun Nicholson, MMO’s head of offshore marine licensing, said: "The Blyth project is the largest site we have approved for the testing of turbine devices.

"We consider economic benefits alongside any adverse impacts, such as on the environment and other users of the marine area. We have worked with Narec to ensure the development satisfied such conditions."

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