The 7MW Levenmouth offshore wind demonstration turbine in Fife will be available until 2029 after it won permission from the Scottish Government to remain in operation.
The turbine, run by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, has been operating for four years and has given more than 50 UK companies access for technology development, demonstration and validation or access to data and information generated by turbine operations. The current value of ongoing projects associated with the Turbine is more than £11 million.
The Scottish Government has also funded £685k of SME technology demonstration projects and data sharing initiatives.
Among the projects demonstrated was an offshore personnel transfer system developed by Limpet Technology, which has now opened a manufacturing facility close by.
The turbine also provides the blueprint for a immersive hybrid reality system installed at Fife College that is used to train the next generation of offshore wind turbine technicians.
Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of ORE Catapult, said: “This consent extension is really welcome news for the UK’s offshore wind industry.
“Accessing real-world operational sites to test and demonstrate new products and services can be a real barrier to small companies looking to break into the offshore wind market. The Levenmouth Turbine offers an easily accessible alternative to demonstrating technologies offshore in harsh and difficult to access sites.”