The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has been awarded a Section 36 consent variation by the Scottish Government to operate its 7MW Levenmouth Offshore Wind Demonstration Turbine in Fife until 2029.
The consent extension means that the Turbine can continue to offer UK industry and academia an unrivalled opportunity to develop a wide range of new technologies as well as a deeper understanding of the operations and maintenance aspects of offshore wind turbines, with the ultimate goals of reducing the cost of energy and creating more jobs.
Over the past four years, the Turbine has supported more than 50 UK companies with access for technology development, demonstration and validation or access to data and information generated by turbine operations. The current value of ongoing projects associated with the Turbine is more than £11m.
The Catapult’s activities around the Turbine have also attracted significant support from the Scottish Government, with £685k funding provided to run SME technology demonstration projects and establish data sharing initiatives.
One of the companies to benefit from access to the Levenmouth Turbine is Edinburgh-based Limpet Technology Limited. They successfully demonstrated an offshore personnel transfer system at the Turbine and have subsequently opened a manufacturing facility close by where they hope to create significant numbers of high-value, skilled jobs over the next few years.
The Turbine also provides the blueprint for a state-of-the-art Immersive Hybrid Reality system installed at Fife College that is used for training the next generation of offshore wind turbine technicians.
Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult, said: “This consent extension is really welcome news for the UK’s offshore wind industry.
“Accessing real-world operational sites to test and demonstrate new products and services can be a real barrier to small companies looking to break into the offshore wind market. The Levenmouth Turbine offers an easily accessible alternative to demonstrating technologies offshore in harsh and difficult to access sites.
“The Turbine has been at the heart of UK offshore wind industry development for the last four years, and it will now continue to play its part for many more, providing benefits both locally and across the UK.”