SSE, Scottish Enterprise to set up offshore wind test centre
Oct 10, 2012 - Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise and power group SSE Plc (LON:SSE) plan to build an offshore wind turbine test centre at the port of Hunterston in Ayrshire, southwestern Scotland.
The two will invest up to GBP 20 million (USD 32m/EUR 24.9m) in the facility, which will be able to host three turbines, Scottish Enterprise said today in a statement. Perth, Scotland-based SSE will pour about GBP 15 million in the project, while the agency will provide up to GBP 4.3 million from the National Renewables Infrastructure Fund. The funding was announced by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference on Wednesday.
Hunterston has been picked for the facility as its wind resource resembles offshore conditions and due to its existing grid connection. The project has been jointly developed by Scottish Enterprise and SSE Renewables, and the GBP-20-million investment will support the construction of the infrastructure required for the development of three turbines over the next five years. Two of the berths will be used by SSE's supply chain partners Siemens (ETR:SIE) and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, and the third will be leased by Scottish Enterprise to a turbine maker planning to invest in Scotland's offshore wind supply chain.
The main civil works will begin in the autumn, with the installation of the meteorological masts. The first of the turbines is expected to be delivered by next summer and erected in late 2013.