Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has been awarded just over £6m (€7.1m) from the Scottish government to support development of its 7MW offshore wind turbine. The funds are intended to contribute to a demonstration project on Scotland's east coast, to be "followed by turbine manufacturing facilities in the longer term".
Permission has already been granted by Marine Scotland for a near-shore test of the 7MW prototype at Fife Energy Park. Construction is due to begin this year. The turbine will be installed about 35m from shore. SHI confirmed plans at the beginning of the year, to establish an offshore wind base at Fife Energy Park.
SHI's UK project manager, Chan Hee Son, said: "This announcement is a major step forward in our plans to develop our latest offshore wind technology in Scotland and is a real testament to the Scottish Government’s support of the offshore wind energy industry."
Having succeeded in attracting SHI, the Scottish Government appears hopeful that it may be succeed in drawing more offshore turbine manufacturers to the east coast. It has referred specifically to potential investments by Areva and Gamesa.
The £6m has come from the Prototyping for Offshore Wind Energy Renewables Scotland (Powers) scheme. This is designed to contribute to the "capital costs associated with the full scale production of next generation wind turbine prototypes in Scotland". The fund remains open for applications until March 2014.
The jacket foundation and transition piece for the offshore test at Fife will be manufactured by Steel Engineering, while Denmark’s SSP Technology is responsible for its record-breaking 83.5m blades.