DECC to ask for £300,000 Clipper Britannia refund

UK: The UK government has said it plans to ask Clipper Windpower to return the grant it received for the company’s ill-fated Britannia project.

The Britannia project was focused on delivering a 10MW offshore turbine and a factory in north-east England.

To help with this, Clipper said the Department of Energy and Climate Change had handed it a grant of £4.46 million.

However, since then the company has been taken over by conglomerate UTC, who pulled the plug on the project in August.

Contrary to Clipper’s figures, a DECC spokesman said Clipper had only received £300,000. "To get the remainder they had to reach certain milestones and they didn’t.

"We are exploring the potential to be repaid and are trying to figure out how we can go about that."

Clipper was received an advance for a prototype Britannia turbine from the Crown Estate in 2008. However, UTC has repaid the £1.6 million advance. 

Windpower Monthly understands Clipper still employs 10-20 people from the Britannia project, mostly in an engineering capacity, at the Renewable Energy Centre testing facility in Blyth, north-east England.

One source at the facility said the team had been talking about developing an onshore turbine.

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