The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has completed the acquisition of the Levenmouth 7MW demonstration offshore wind turbine from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI). The turbine will now be used as an open access facility dedicated to research, and offers opportunities for training and development of skills for the offshore wind industry. ORE Catapult is working with Fife Council and local educational bodies on the development of skills and training programmes in renewable technology that will support the development of Levenmouth as a global centre of excellence for offshore wind.
Renewable energy consultancy SgurrEnergy has been appointed as operations and maintenance contractors for the turbine. The Catapult will now undertake a planned period of operation and familiarisation alongside SHI while continuing to develop research and development activities covering multiple areas of offshore wind operations.
Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of ORE Catapult, said: “Having a dedicated offshore wind turbine, accessible from shore, will prove a massive advantage for Scotland and indeed the UK’s offshore wind industry – a real world first. It enables us to extend and enhance both existing and future research programmes, provide an unrivalled testing environment for new technologies and facilitate the development of skills and experience critical to the future development of the industry, and its continuing efforts to reduce costs. I am very keen to see our ambitions in Levenmouth act as a magnet for innovation and skills development, attracting further investment to the area and helping to put Fife at the heart of Scotland’s renewable energy industry.”
The Catapult claims to operate the largest concentration of open access renewable energy test and demonstration facilities anywhere in the world, with the Levenmouth turbine complementing its existing facilities at its National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland.