Energy secretary announces grants for companies to develop wind technology in a new facility in North-east of England

Work is about to start on a plant in the North-east of England that will manufacture the world’s largest wind turbine blades.

The blades, which are bigger than Blackpool Tower, will be made by Clipper and used on its 10MW wind turbines, which will initially be located in European waters.

The move comes following today’s announcement by Ed Miliband, energy and climate secretary, of £6.5m worth of grants for three offshore wind energy companies.

The three companies are:

  • Clipper Wind Power which received £4.4m to develop its first prototype blade for the Britannia project;
  • Artemis Intelligent Power which received £1m to transfer their existing technology from automotive to wind energy;
  • Siemens Wind Power UK who have £1.1m to develop the next generation power convertors for their larger offshore turbine.

wind turbine

Miliband said: “The UK is consolidating its lead in offshore wind energy. 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."

The Britannia Project blade development is anticipated to take place at a new 4,000 m2 facility which Clipper expects to occupy on the River Tyne in the North East of England by the start of April 2010.

Each blade will be more than 70m long and weigh over 30 tonnes.