The move will initially create around 25 skilled engineering jobs and bolster the region’s reputation in the renewables and offshore sectors.
‘Project Britannia’ will see Clipper Windpower basing its prototype technology in Blyth, Northumberland, which will become the base for Clipper’s European Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind Technology. The North East Centre of Excellence for New and Renewable Energy, NaREC, will provide engineering, testing and development services in support of the project.
The investment is the culmination of two years’ collaboration between Clipper Windpower, One NorthEast, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and UK Trade and Investment to bring the project to the region and identify supply chain development.
Clipper Windpower will use NaREC’s world-leading blade test and manufacturing facilities to engineer, construct and test a prototype 7.5MW offshore turbine, which will be the largest offshore in the world. A single 7.5MW turbine could potentially provide for the electricity needs of more than 5,500 homes and offset more than 32 million tonnes of CO2.
Engineering development of the new Britannia turbine will be shared between Clipper’s Advanced Technology Group, based in Carpinteria, California, and Clipper Windpower Marine to be based in Blyth.