QUEEN BUYS GIGANTIC WIND
The Clipper MBE, a 7.5-megawatt wind turbine to be erected off the UK coast, will be a true engineering feat. The MBE stands for Million Barrel Equivalent. It is said to be capable of powering 5,500 homes and offsetting 32 million tonnes of CO2. One turbine!
The biggest turbines to date are in the Beatrice installion off Britain’s North Sea coast. They are 5-megawatts.
The Clipper MBE, built by Clipper Windpower, a California company, will be assembled in the north of England at Blyth’s Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind (owned and operated by Clipper).
In U.S. land based wind farms, the standard turbine is still 1.5 megawatts. But offshore wind is booming in Europe and ambition seems to know no limits. How long 'til somebody tries to build a 10-megawatt turbine?
A 5 megawatt turbine being put in place. The MBE will be 50% bigger. (click to enlarge)
Queen Elizabeth Buys World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine
May 22, 2008 (Environment News Service)
World’s largest offshore wind turbine to be developed in North England
Trevor Sievert, 21 April 2008
Queen Elizabeth and The Crown Estate of Great Britain; Clipper Windpower
click to enlarge
The Britannia Project, owned by The Crown Estate of Queen Elizabeth, will purchase a prototype Clipper MBE, the biggest offshore wind turbine in the world, from Clipper Windpower. Subsequently, The Crown Estate announced rules governing offshore wind in Scotland and that the lease agreement on the Greater Gabbard offshore wind project had been completed.
- The purchase of the prototype Clipper MBE was finalized April 17.
- The announcement of Crown Estate rules governing offshore wind in Scotland was made May 21 and the announcement of the Greater Gabbard project was May 16.
- The increased investment in and attention to offshore wind follows an expected surge across Europe in the 2011-12 period.
- The prototype Clipper MBE is expected to be operational in 2010. It has a 30-year design life.
- Construction on Greater Gabbard is scheduled for 2009.
A European offshore wind power boom is coming. (click to enlarge)
- Clipper Windpower has headquarters in Carpinteria, CA, and London, England.
- The Clipper MBE will be assembled at the Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind, a Clipper Windpower facility in northeast England, in the city Blyth.
- Rules governing offshore wind development in Scottish waters were announced at the All Energy Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland.
- The Cliper MBE has 7.5-megawatt electricity generation capacity. To now, the biggest turbines, used in offshore installations, had 5-megawatt capacities.
- The Britannia Project is expected to cost $65 million.
- Crown Estate offshore interests: the entire UK territorial seabed to 12 nautical miles out and 55% of the UK coastal foreshore, plus leasing rights for the Renewable Energy Zone of the continental shelf to 200 nautical miles out.
- Greater Gabbard will have 140 turbines and a 504-megawatt capacity.
click to enlarge
- Rob Hastings, director of marine estates, The Crown Estate: "This announcement to launch Scottish offshore wind clearly demonstrates The Crown Estate's commitment to facilitating the next phase of offshore wind energy development in Scotland. We have listened to the requests from developers in the industry and are delighted to be working closely with the Scottish government in taking this forward."
- Jason Ormiston, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables: "We are pleased The Crown Estate is now providing some certainty for developers who are keen to invest hundreds of millions of pounds if they can get the rights to develop…Offshore wind in Scottish waters - whether it is in deep or shallow water - offers exceptional potential to help deliver action on climate change and help secure affordable supplies of electricity, and the industry is keen to see government and The Crown Estate help deliver it as quickly as possible…"