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UK Invests $106M in Advanced Offshore Wind Turbine Testing Facilities

Blyth, UK – 16 May 2024 – The UK has secured its position at the forefront of offshore wind turbine technology with a new £85.6 million ($106 million) investment from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to expand the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s testing facilities. This funding will support the development of next-generation wind turbines, enhancing their reliability and reducing risks.

The upgraded facilities will accommodate testing of wind turbine blades up to 150 meters and drive trains up to 23 megawatts (MW), with future expansions to 180 meters and 28MW. These advancements are expected to accelerate turbine deployment by eight months, preventing 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and contributing significantly to the UK’s carbon reduction goals.

This initiative will create 30 new jobs in Blyth, support five PhDs annually, and strengthen UK supply chains, attracting inward investment and driving economic growth. Science Minister Andrew Griffith highlighted the dual benefits of job creation and energy security, while ORE Catapult CEO Andrew Jamieson emphasized the UK’s continued leadership in offshore wind technology.

Construction of the new testing facilities at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth is set to begin soon, with full commissioning expected by 2028. This project aligns with UKRI’s goal of achieving a net zero economy by 2050.

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