Clipper are preparing to invest in wind power generation in the North East, and want to build and test a prototype 'mega turbine' at the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland.
The new turbine, dubbed the 'Million Barrel Equivalent' project (MBE) because its projected output power is equivalent to importing and burning a million barrels of oil, will be rated at 7.5 megawatts. A single one could supply electricity to 5,500 homes.
The project has already received £5m of funding from the regional development agency One NorthEast. Its Director of Business and Industry, Ian Williams, said:
'Securing this substantial commitment from a company of the stature of Clipper Windpower is fantastic news for our region and confirms North East England as a major UK hub for renewable energy technology development and investment, building on our power generation manufacturing heritage.'
Blyth harbour, which is already home to existing offshore wind turbines, has been named by Clipper as its European Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind Technology.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist October 2007