Three new wind turbine projects have been revealed for the British coastline. The most ambitious of the schemes involves the insertion of 1,000ft giant turbines as part of the pan-European UpWind research project, currently being funded by the EU. A series of turbines approximately the same height as the Chrysler Building in New York have been designed with revolving blades with a diameter of 800m.
In comparison to the average 400ft wind turbine, this giant version would have capacity for around 20Mw to the standard 3Mw. Deputy Head of the wind energy department at the Danish Technical University, Professor Peter Jensen, details: “The cost of creating foundations for big machines is not much greater than for smaller ones. Big machines can be much more reliable than smaller ones. Their size and expense makes it more economic to install better monitoring and control technology to ensure they work efficiently.”
Other companies are continuing with the tried and tested, more modest 7Mw equivalent however with South Korean firm Samsung Heavy Industries looking to invest £100m in a new wind project off the Scottish coast. Running in parallel with the eco-friendly scheme is a multi-million pound contract with East Kilbride-based David Brown Gear Systems who will be supplying the gearbox systems to generate future offshore turbines for Samsung Heavy Industries.
CEO of Samsung Heavy Industries, Insik Roh, said: “The testing of the new 7Mw offshore wind turbine at the Fife Energy Park signifies a milestone in the development of Samsung’s new wind turbine generator system. We hope to contribute to the Scottish economy through successful testing and certification of our cutting edge offshore wind turbine and ultimately through establishment of our manufacturing here in Methil.”
At the opposite end of the United Kingdom are plans to install an entire farm of wind turbines off the pebbly shores of Brighton. A scoping report was submitted by energy firm E.ON in September 2010 and an application for development consent will be submitted early this year. Plans suggest between 100 and 195 turbines 8 miles into the English Channel making it one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world. E.ON will be installing a mast in the project zone over the coming months to test wind speeds in the area.