The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has secured a ten-year extension for operating its 7MW Levenmouth offshore wind demonstration turbine in Fife.
The extension was awarded by the Scottish Government and will see the turbine used for testing and developing new technologies until 2029.
“This consent extension is really welcome news for the UK’s offshore wind industry," said Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult.
“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."
According to ORE, the consent extension means the turbine can continue offering the UK industry and academia an opportunity to develop 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.
The current value of ongoing projects associated with the Levenmouth turbine is more than GBP 11 million, ORE said, emphasizing that the government provided GBP 685,000 to run SME technology demonstration projects and establish data sharing initiatives.
In June, ORE launched the Platform for Operational Data (POD), a new open-access service offering a series of data sets from the 7MW demonstration turbine, as well as its met mast and electrical substation. The service is designed to improve understanding of how offshore wind farms operate in real-world conditions and support research, projects and product development.