The Glasgow-based Offshore Renewable Energy agency (ORE) has completed its take-over of the former Samsung demonstration 7 MW offshore wind turbine facility in Fife.
As a result, ORE now operates 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.
The ORE Catapult now aims to use the turbine as an education and skills-training tool in renewable technologies to promote Levenmouth as a global centre of excellence in offshore wind.
Glasgow-based renewables consultancy Sgurr Energy has been appointed as operations & maintenance contractor for day to day running of the turbine.
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 it at the heart of Scotland’s renewable energy industry.”
Chan-Hee Son, Managing Director, Samsung Heavy Industries UK, said “We are pleased the future of the Levenmouth offshore prototype turbine has been secured. We believe it has the potential to play an important role in the future of the European offshore wind sector. We will continue to work closely with ORE Catapult to ensure a smooth transfer.”
Robbie Gibson, Group Director of Sgurr Energy, said: “Our team will operate and maintain the wind turbine to ensure the correct balance between performance, availability and innovative R&D project allowance, using 24/7 remote monitoring combined with onsite management and support.”