The contractors have handed over the new wind test facility to the National Renewable Energy Centre based in Blyth, Northumberland. The project is the second of three buildings to be completed in Blyth as part of a £80 million investment in facilities for accelerated testing of offshore renewable energy technologies.
The new blade test facility will be the largest of its kind in the world and has been designed to test the longer blades in development for larger offshore turbines.
The 5,200m2 steel framed structure which is 123 metres in length has been a complex engineering feat for Shepherd Construction, this building houses the hub that will support and test the blades so they had to find a solution that would withstand the forces and vibrations during testing.
The end result is a test hub that comprises of a 15 metre high concrete superstructure with two gigantic rings. The top ring of 8 metre diameter has been designed to accommodate blades up to 100m. The smaller ring will take blades of a smaller root diameter.
The new facility will serve as an independent and confidential location to develop new blade designs before they are taken offshore
The new facility will provide an independent and confidential environment to accelerate the development of new blade designs before they are taken offshore.