Glasgow & West Scotland

SSE wants offshore wind turbine test site at Hunterston

Offshore wind farm
Image caption The Hunterston site could test up to three prototype offshore turbines

Power firm Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has announced plans to develop an offshore wind turbine testing facility in North Ayrshire.

The Perth-based group wants to set up a facility at Clydeport's Hunterston site to test up to three prototypes for the next generation of offshore turbines.

SSE will now seek planning permission which, if granted, would see millions of pounds invested at the site.

The company also said the project had job creation potential.

The proposed new facility, which has the backing of economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, will be an extension of SSE's Glasgow-based Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy.

Energy goals

If North Ayrshire Council grants planning permission, construction of the facility would begin next year.

SSE's director of offshore renewables, Jim Smith said: "Our Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy is already attracting both leading and new players in the renewable energy sector to Scotland, creating hundreds of new, highly skilled jobs.

"This new facility will further establish Scotland as a centre of expertise for offshore wind and play a crucial part in helping SSE realise its renewable energy goals.

"The continuous development of offshore wind technologies is essential if we are to reduce the cost of generation from offshore wind farms - through reduced capital cost, improved efficiency, and reliability once in operation.

"The offshore wind testing facility will play a key role in assuring product reliability before deploying the next generation of offshore wind turbines in large scale commercial developments in the UK and beyond."

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