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United Kingdom

UK to develop 90 metre blade for 10MW turbines

UK: A UK government-backed consortium of companies, including BP and Rolls-Royce, has launched a project to develop a 90-metre blade.

Vestas is developing an 80 metre blade at its Isle of Wight R&D centre
Vestas is developing an 80 metre blade at its Isle of Wight R&D centre

The Energy Technology Institute (ETI), which also includes Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, and Shell. It is a UK private-public partnership aiming to develop renewables technologies to help meet the country’s 2020 targets.

The ETI expects to invest around £10 million (€11.4 million) and is asking companies to design a blade that could be used on an 8-10MW turbine.

ETI chief executive David Clarke said: "This project is based on our earlier studies which identified that the most cost-effective size for a horizontal axis turbine is likely to be between 8 and 10MW with significantly larger blades than scaling up current turbines would typically give.

"Along with improved system reliability, the impact of larger blades is a crucial factor in helping to bring down the costs of generating electricity by offshore wind which is why we are now seeking partners to develop and demonstrate these large-scale high performance blades."

The first stage of the project will focus on blade design and sizing and the second stage will focus on the manufacturing process. The final stage with involve prototype testing.

In March, Vestas announced it would be developing an 82 metre blade to be used on its V164 7MW offshore wind turbine. The blade is being designed at the company's UK research and development centre on the Isle of Wight.

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