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World’s largest wind turbines to be made in UK

wind-turbine-from-belowThe world’s largest wind turbine blades — bigger than the Blackpool tower — will be made in Britain, Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband said this week.

Announcing grants for three offshore wind-energy companies, Miliband told the TUC annual conference:

“With strong government backing, the UK is consolidating its lead in offshore wind energy,” he 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.”

Miliband continued, “Our coastline means the offshore wind industry has the potential to employ tens of thousands of workers by 2020, manufacturing, transporting, installing and operating new turbines. It will take an active government to get us there and the funds I’m announcing today are part of the £120 million investment we are making this year and next in the wind industry to make that happen.”

The three companies receiving government grants are:

  • Clipper Windpower: £4.4 million to develop its first prototype 70-metre blade for the Britannia project – the largest wind turbines in the world;
  • Artemis Intelligent Power: £1 million to transfer its existing technology from automotive to wind energy; and
  • Siemens Wind Power UK: £1.1 million to develop the next-generation power converters for its larger offshore turbine.

As a result of its award, Clipper will start work on a plant in the North East of England where blades for its giant turbines — the world’s largest — will be developed. Once constructed, each blade will be more than 70 metres long and weigh over 30 tonnes.  The blades are part of turbines that will stand at 175 meters tall. The plant will initially employ 60 people by the end of next year.

The grants are awarded under phase 1 of the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration (LCED) capital grants scheme. Vestas Technology UK Ltd was the first company to receive an award under the scheme last month. The total amount awarded under phase 1 is £10 million.

“With the deployment of the 10-megawatt Clipper offshore turbine in UK waters, the nation will benefit from clean power, and also from the strong economic boost arising from the development and serial production of the turbines in the coming years,” said James G.P. Dehlson, chairman of Clipper Windpower. “DECC’s (Department for Energy and Climate Change’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. We are appreciative of the support and look forward to the opportunity to continue to work closely with DECC.”

“This kind of targeted support by government enables small R&D companies like Artemis to develop the breakthrough technologies needed to bring Britain to the forefront of the low carbon revolution,” said Waverley Cameron, chairman of Artemis Intelligent Power.

“Siemens is committed to developing the technology and infrastructure to enable wind power to make a major contribution to the UK’s energy needs and help government meet the 2020 targets,” said Andreas J. Goss, chief executive of Siemens in the UK and North West Europe. “We are delighted to have been successful in being granted this support, which will enable us to develop our advanced power conversion technology here in the UK, helping growth and job creation in the UK wind industry to become a reality.”


  • Proffessor carter
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I disagree with you because if you think of the clogs running inside the wind turbines head (top) if you take a big clog with small indents then the smaller clog will work more efficiently than a small clog on top of another.

  • wind bore
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    If you make them bigger you don’t make them more efficient. Wind technology needs to evolve. the antiquated notion of wind turbines won’t do it anymore no matter how big you make them.

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