Europe's biggest turbine testing centre set for launch

NETHERLANDS: Work has begun on what will become the largest site for wind turbine prototyping and certification in Europe.

Based at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and operated by Ecofys Wind Turbine Testing Services (WWTS), the project will cost €1.5million and will be funded by Ecofys' shareholder the Dutch energy company Eneco.

The test site will provide the infrastructure, wind measurements and wind turbine measurements required for turbine certification. The site itself should be fully operational by the end of 2011.

"The first turbine is under construction [for STX Windpower] and will be up and running by the end of December, with the first measurement campaigns planned for January and February," said Michiel Muller, managing director of Ecofys WWTS.

Muller said that other turbines are lined up for construction on the site next year.

The accredited measurement services will be certified by Ecofys in collaboration with the German testing institute Windtest Grevenbroich.

Ecofys WWTS said that when the site is completed it will be able to service up to 10 turbines with 200 metre tip heights.