The Britannia blade will be developed Clipper Windpower Marine at their new factory, a 4000m2 facility expected to be completed towards the end of 2010.

The factory, it was announced today (February 18) will be used to develop and build blades for the ‘Britannia Project’, a 10MW offshore wind turbine prototype under development by Clipper.

A prototype is scheduled for deployment in late 2012, and according to the company will be ‘among the largest wind turbines’ under development in the industry.

Blades will be 72 metres long and weigh more than 30 tonnes and will be funded partly by a Department of Energy and Climate Change grant of £4.46m, which was awarded to Clipper in September last year.

Prime minister, Gordon Brown, said: “I welcome Clipper’s ground-breaking announcement to build the largest wind turbine blade in the world on the banks of the Tyne.

“The UK is a global leader in offshore wind power, and the North East is at the forefront in providing the skills, expertise and enterprise to capitalise on this rapidly expanding market, which has the potential to create thousands of future green jobs.”

Clipper chairman James Dehlsen, said: “Today marks an exciting and important milestone in achieving the Britannia Project blade requirements.

“Over the next few years, with the development of the Britannia turbine the UK will benefit through the supply of electricity based on its abundant offshore wind energy resource.

“And also with economic activity related to turbine manufacturing, offshore installation, and long term operations and servicing.

“The offshore wind market in the UK is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting sectors in the global renewable energy industry.”

Luke Walsh

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