The Crown Estate signed a deal with Clipper Windpower, which has its headquarters in California, to buy the prototype 7.5MW turbine, known as the Britannia project.

It is hoped the investment will allow The Crown Estate to gain firsthand knowledge about the challenges facing offshore wind turbines used in deep water environments.

As well as a diverse property portfolio, the estate includes almost the entire UK territorial seabed out to 12 nautical miles and around 55% of the UK’s coastal foreshore, and has the rights to lease seabed for the generation of renewable energy out to approximately 200 nautical miles.

Rob Hastings, director of the Marine Estates at The Crown Estate, said: “We believe that our support to the Britannia project through the acquisition of this purposely-designed new generation offshore turbine will drive forward the development of turbine technology designed for the challenges of the offshore environment.

“This is an important step in the future of offshore wind and a great opportunity to help establish a new industrial base of activity to advance the UK’s leadership in renewable energy.”

The turbine will be assembled and tested at Clipper’s Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind in north east England.

James Dehlsen, chairman and CEO of Clipper Windpower, said: “Clipper’s current Liberty 2.5MW turbine is the fourth successful generation of turbine technology our team has created, and it provides a technology platform which scales advantageously to meet the turbine size needed to help make offshore wind economically viable.

“This platform enables us to accelerate the development of this vital turbine technology at a time when the urgencies of energy security and global warming are driving the transformation of energy priorities and resource use.”

Kate Martin

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