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United Kingdom

Extra investment in ORE Catapult test site

UK: The Scottish government and ORE Catapult are investing an extra £920,000 (€1 million) in a testing site where a 'digital clone' of a 7MW turbine is being built.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse (third from the left) at the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine (pic: ORE Catapult)
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse (third from the left) at the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine (pic: ORE Catapult)

The two £460,000 sums will help researchers studying the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine develop a "deeper understanding" of offshore turbines, ORE Catapult said.

The investment will also help establish a lidar test facility at the technology and research centre.

The Levenmouth project, based in east Scotland, involves monitoring sensors being added to the blades, tower and substructure of the lone Samsung-built 7MW turbine.

By gathering operational data from the 171-metre rotor turbine, ORE Catapult will create a ‘virtual wind farm’, from which researchers can create datasets and better understand how offshore projects work.

Initial projects at Levenmouth were focussed on structural mechanics, aeroelastic modelling, wind turbine control systems, O&M and condition monitoring, and aerodynamic modelling.

The new £920,000 programme will increase access for UK businesses to test their designs, ORE Catapult said.

Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s operational performance director, said: "Providing a unique testing environment for new technologies and using real-world data from the operation of the turbine will help us develop a deeper understanding of the operations and maintenance aspects of offshore wind turbines."

The extra £920,000 in funding, announced this week, comes after the Scottish government awarded the project a £215,000 grant last year.

Scotland’s minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said: "It’s becoming increasingly clear that offshore wind is integral to Scotland’s sustainable energy future – as well as helping us to achieve our ambitious climate change targets."

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