The first electricity generated by the SSE Renewables offshore wind turbine test bed at Hunterston has been exported to the national grid.
The Siemens SWT-6.0-154 wind turbine, is 177 metres high, and incorporates the latest offshore turbine technology to generate six Megawatts (MW) of electricity.
The Hunterston site, on the North Ayrshire coast, has similar wind conditions to those found offshore, as well as access to the grid and an adjacent jetty for facilitating component deliveries. This makes it an ideal location for turbine manufacturers to test their latest turbine equipment before deploying it offshore.
Ian Flannagan, SSE Project Manager, said: “We are now busy preparing the site ahead of the second turbine, a Mitsubishi SeaAngel 7MW offshore wind model, due to arrive this summer.”
Clark MacFarlane, Managing Director, Siemens Wind Power Offshore, said: “The SSE and Siemens team has worked extremely hard to get to this point and should feel proud of their achievement in delivering this important clean energy project.”
The project, the UK’s first onshore test site for offshore turbines, is being supported by the UK Department for Energy (DECC) and the UK Department of Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS).
UK Energy Minister Greg Barker said: “SSE Renewable’s test site for offshore wind turbines is an exciting and innovative project. It will help the country take another step towards delivering £110 billion investment into our energy sector while helping to support local jobs.”