Turbine build picking up speed

Installation of the tower for Samsung Heavy Industries’ (SHI) prototype offshore wind turbine is nearing completion in Methil.

The operation to install the huge two-piece steel structure has been taking place over recent days just 50m offshore from the Energy Park.

The turbine blades are ready to be installed at Fife Energy Park, Methil Docks

The turbine blades are ready to be installed at Fife Energy Park, Methil Docks

Once fully assembled and operational, the three blade, 7MW prototype turbine will be the world’s largest and most powerful installed turbine, with the tip of its blades 196m above sea level. 
The nacelle height, the bit where the gearbox is housed, will be 110m.

SHI hope the turbine, which will create enough energy to power 4,800 homes, will be operational by the end of this year.

Following a testing period the company hopes to attract orders which will allow it to build a manufacturing facility at the Energy Park.

Youngjae Lee, deputy project manager with SHI, said: “The weather is a critical factor for this complex installation operation and we are delighted to have had the right conditions to proceed with the tower installation.

“There has been a great deal of activity on-site in preparation for this and it is has been good to see the structure really starting to take shape.

“We are looking forward to continuing with this steady progress, completing the construction of the turbine and getting testing under way.”

Representatives from Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise were at Energy Park Fife on Tuesday to observe the progress of the operation.

Councillor David Graham, vice chairman, Levenmouth area committee said: “I’m very impressed with the progress being made on this project.

“It’s a great boost for the local area and as the largest and most powerful wind turbine in the world, it will focus a lot of attention on Energy Park Fife and the Levenmouth area.

“We have to make the most of this interest and do everything we can to show that Fife is one of the easiest places to do business.

“We hope that this wind turbine will attract a lot of orders for Samsung and they will seriously consider manufacturing at the Energy Park too.

“Fife Council will certainly do everything it can to support Samsung.”