January 11 (Renewables Now) - Planning permission has been granted for revised plans to construct a wind turbine blade facility in Southampton, southern England.
The applicant is Oceanic Estates (Woolston) Ltd and the facility is to be used by General Electric Co's (NYSE:GE) unit GE Renewables for the manufacturing and testing of wind turbine composite blades.
The proposal was approved by Southampton Council's planning committee on Tuesday. The BBC reported that the green light came in spite of 126 objections, with residents complaining of the scale of the building.
The project was first approved in April last year. According to the planning application report on Tuesday, in the new proposal there is a shift from wholly manufacturing to blade design, research, development and testing . A test hall capable of accommodating two blades under test at a time is a key addition to the previously approved project. The plans therefore now feature a larger site area and a significantly taller building.
The facility will be located on part of the former Vosper Thornycroft shipbuilding site. The project is expected to create 50 jobs, with 100 jobs five years later. Another 150 jobs are anticipated in the local supply chain.
GE acquired Southampton-based Blade Dynamics in 2015.