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Offshore turbines will be bigger than the Blackpool tower

Ed Miliband, Energy and Climate Secretary, has announced that the world’s biggest wind turbine blades will be made in Britain.

Announcing grants for three offshore wind energy companies at the recent TUC annual conference, Miliband said: "With strong government backing, the UK is consolidating its lead in offshore wind energy. We already have more offshore wind energy than any other country, we have the biggest wind farm in the world about to start construction, and now we’ll see the biggest turbine blades in the world made here in Britain.

"Our coastline means the offshore wind industry has the potential to employ tens of thousands of workers by 2020, manufacturing, transporting, installing and operating new turbines.
"It will take an active government to get us there and the funds I am announcing today are part of the £120 million investment we are making this year and next in the wind industry to make that happen."

The three companies involved include Clipper Wind Power who will develop their first prototype 70m blade for the Britannia project – the largest wind turbines in the world.  Artemis Intelligent Power will transfer its existing technology from automotive to wind energy. Finally, Siemens Wind Power UK will develop the next generation power convertors for their larger offshore turbine. 

As a result of its award Clipper will start work on a plant in the North East of England where the blades for giant turbines will be developed. Once constructed, each blade will be more than 70m long and will weigh over 30 tonnes. The blades are part of the turbines that will stand at 175m tall. The plant will initially employ 60 people by the end of next year.

The grants are awarded under phase 1 of the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration (LCED) capital grants scheme.

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