Shepherd wins £45m wind energy test centre

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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Shepherd Construction has earned a place at the forefront of wind farm development in the UK after signing a four-year deal to build several world-class testing facilities in Northumberland.

The construction deal with the National Renewable Energy Centre is thought to be worth up to £45m.

Shepherd will design and build several big R&D facilities at Blyth technology park aimed at making the UK a world leader in onshore and offshore wind farm technology.

The agreement covers construction of the world’s most advanced testing facilities for 100m long turbine blades, the first large-scale marine turbine testing facility and associated infrastructure projects.

Narec was recently granted permission to build three test rig facilities at the park, which form part of the construction package.

First phase projects

Project Nautilus: a 3MW drive train test rig to appraise new marine devices. Based around the existing dry docks, there will be no comparable open-access R&D facilities elsewhere in the world.

100m blade test facility: Confidential test facility for new blade designs before they are taken offshore. It will be the largest of its type in the world.

Project Fujin: The world’s largest offshore wind drive train test facility rated at 15MW. It will provide land based development and testing of whole ‘power systems’.

Meanwhile, McNulty Offshore Construction has also picked up a £6m deal to carry out pre-construction services for an offshore wind demonstrator monitoring platform.

The offshore monitoring platform will provide global turbine manufacturers with the opportunity to demonstrate their prototype wind turbine generators and foundations in the North Sea.

McNulty will work with Narec on developing the design, with the intention of the platform being constructed and in place by the end of the summer.

Narec also plans to deliver a 100MW grid connection to the offshore monitoring platform, giving it the capacity to accommodate up to 20 large-scale wind turbine prototypes.

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