SSE announces shock move to quit national offshore wind turbine test site in Ayrshire

Hunterston offshore wind turbine test site under construction in 2012.
Hunterston offshore wind turbine test site under construction in 2012.

A Scottish-based UK utility giant has pulled out of the Hunterston wind turbine farm test site in Ayrshire.

SSE, which is based in Perth, has no plans to renew its participation in the facility after the Mitsubishi turbine operation ends this autumn, when the National Offshore Wind Turbine Test Facility at Hunterston will be decommissioned.

The surprise move comes just months after SSE was granted a two-year extension for the test facility in January.

The power company said that being able to test turbines at Hunterston brought ‘major benefits’ to UK offshore wind research.

Steven Smilie, renewable operations manager at SSE, said: “Hunterston has helped keep Scotland on the map when it comes to offshore wind development and has provided a great service to the offshore wind industry.

“With offshore wind now being a much more widely developed and deployed technology, it is time for the site to be decommissioned.

“In the past six years the site has not only brought benefits to the offshore wind industry and economic benefit to the region, the communities close to the wind farm have also benefited from the Hunterston Community Fund which has provided over £250,000 over the lifetime of the project.” 

27 Jun 2018

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