South Korean engineering company Samsung Heavy Industries has delivered its 7MW offshore wind turbine for testing at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in UK.
The 450t shipment will see the delivery of a wind turbine nacelle, the gearing and generator mechanism that sits on top of the turbine tower behind the blades.
The nacelle will be delivered to Blyth Docks in Northumberland, where it will undergo an on-shore testing programme at Narec.
If the outcome of the tests are positive, the developers are expected to invest in Samsung’s technology for the Round 3 of offshore wind developments that will be sited further out at sea.
This will increase Samsung’s chance of investing £100m in a new manufacturing plant in the UK, which is expected to create 500 jobs in the area.
The testing programme will be conducted for six months, during which some of the harshest climatic conditions will be simulated within the Narec facility.
The testing programme includes wind gusts of up to 150mph and once-in-a-lifetime events, to ensure any performance issues can be identified and rectified before the turbines are constructed and installed offshore.
In addition, the programme also includes performance verification and accelerated life testing of the complete drive train system.
Narec chief executive Andrew Mill said: "We’re delighted to be working with SHI on the accelerated lifetime testing of their next-generation turbines.
"The information we gather during testing will contribute significantly to SHI’s understanding of the design and performance of their technology that will ultimately help reduce the manufacturing and operating costs of the turbines and make energy production through offshore wind power far more competitive with other energy sources."
Energy Technologies Institute CEO David Clarke said: "The delivery by Samsung Heavy Industries of its turbine is a major milestone for Narec and the wider UK offshore wind industry.
"This is evidence that the UK can create world leading engineering facilities that can attract global industry operators providing welcome economic stimulus into the country and advancing technology innovation in a growing industry."
Image: The test will include wind gusts of up to 150mph. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net.