Siemens Gamesa welcomed Queen Elizabeth II to its offshore wind turbine blade factory at Alexandra Dock in Hull, UK, on 16 November.
On arrival at the site, the Queen drove the full 75 metre length of the turbine blade that featured as an art installation in the Queen Victoria Square, in Hull city centre, as part of the Hull City of Culture 2017 celebrations.
Afterwards, Siemens Gamesa’s UK Managing Director, Clark MacFarlane, accompanied the Queen on a short tour of the factory, including a visit to the moulds where the 75 metre turbine blades are hand made.
Queen Elizabeth also met with Siemens Gamesa’s CEO Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens AG Joe Kaeser and Siemens PLC Juergen Maier, as well as with other employees, including apprentices working on the blades under construction who explained their work.
The tour was finished by the Queen unveiling a plaque marking the day of her visit.
RenewableUK has emphasised the importance of the Queen’s visit, stating that during her lifetime, the UK’s power sources have changed significantly, from 97% coal in the year of her birth (1926) to over 50% of power being generated by low-carbon sources in 2016.
“The Queen’s visit sends a powerful signal of just how far the UK’s offshore wind industry has come, and that it is a key part of the energy mainstream. The apprentices who welcomed Her Majesty to Siemens Gamesa’s state-of-the-art factory in Hull are great examples of the tens of thousands of British people now working in our world-leading sector, including its flourishing supply chain,” RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said.
Siemens Gamesa opened the Hull factory in December 2016, and used the opportunity to officially unveil its 75m blade, which multi-media artist Nayan Kulkarni transformed into a sculpture later exposed in the Queen Victoria Square.