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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

British and American effort

The offshore ambitions of American turbine maker Clipper have received a financial injection from taxpayers in the north-east of England. Clipper has been given a £5 million incentive to set up its strategic centre for European offshore wind projects at Blyth Harbour. Locals are already familiar with wind power at sea. Blyth is the location of Britain's first ever offshore wind plant of two Vestas turbines, which are currently being refurbished.

Clipper says its offshore machine will be a 7.5 MW turbine, but does not elaborate on whether the design will be based on the company's 2.5 MW Liberty machine, which employs an unusual configuration using four generators. Just under 100 Liberty turbin es have been built and installed in the US. It is the only wind turbine made by Clipper so far.

The £5 million ($10.1 million) has been awarded by One NorthEast, the Regional Development Agency for the Northeast of England for Clipper's Britannia Project, which the company describes as development of a next generation offshore wind turbine. Clipper says the money results from a long term collaboration between One Northeast and Clipper for the establishment of its offshore wind turbine research and development facility at the port of Blyth.

The news comes on the heels of Clipper's recent formation of CAPGEN, a formal separation of Clipper's project development interests from its turbine manufacturing business (page 42). Although the onshore market, particularly in the US, remains Clipper's number one focus, says company chairman Jim Dehlsen, the establishment of CAPGEN is a way of positioning the company's presence and its turbine technology for the offshore market, "when it comes alive." He adds: "Getting a presence in Europe, even on the development side, is going to help us with our turbine strategy as that market starts to develop. That really takes us beyond the Liberty Turbine and to the next generation machine."

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