Levenmouth Turbine Offers Unrivalled Opportunity for Renewable Energy Research and Development

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Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult recently unveiled its 7-MW demonstration offshore wind turbine in Levenmouth, Scotland, underlining the vital role that the United Kingdom plays in research, technology, and skills development at the heart of the global renewable energy industry.

The Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine was acquired by ORE Catapult from Samsung Heavy Industries in December 2015 and is the world’s most advanced open-access offshore wind turbine dedicated to research. It offers complementary opportunities for economic growth, training, and the development of skills that are vital for the future of the offshore wind industry.  

The turbine offers an unrivalled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of technologies as well as the operations and maintenance aspects of offshore wind turbines with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of energy. ORE Catapult is working closely with key academic and industry stakeholders to align the research program of the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine with industry priorities to drive down the costs associated with offshore wind energy development.

ORE Catapult is also working with local partners, including Fife Council, Fife College, Levenmouth Academy, Skills Development Scotland, and the Energy Skills Partnership, to develop and deliver educational and training programs that will both support local young adults to move on to higher education and develop a unique curriculum to ensure that training programs deliver employment-focused, in-demand skills to local people.

“Scotland’s research and development in renewables is unrivalled and the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine adds to Scotland’s extensive portfolio of test facilities,” said Fergus Ewing, the Scottish government minister for business, energy, and tourism. “ORE Catapult will work with the offshore wind sector, Skills Development Scotland, and the Energy Skills Partnership to ensure the knowledge is transferred to the industry to help it develop our offshore wind resources.”

“The Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine will play a major part in the development of future technologies to lower the cost of offshore wind,” said Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of ORE Catapult. “It offers opportunities for the U.K. supply chain and technology developments, and it is vital that the turbine also plays a role in locally developing and supporting the next generation of Scottish engineers, who will ensure that Fife enjoys a bright future thanks to renewable energy.”

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According to William Leithead, the chair of the EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub and director of the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre for Wind and Marine Energy Systems, the Levenmouth turbine is a game-changer for the U.K. academic community.

“Until now, we’ve lagged behind other European nations in not having open access to a full-scale turbine that can be used to back up new research outputs and technologies,” Leithead said. “Access to the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine will make it possible to position the Scottish and a wider U.K. academic research community right at the heart of European wind research, funding opportunities, and technology development.” 

— Source: ORE Catapult

For more information, go to ore.catapult.org.uk.