Wind turbine blades to be manufactured in Isle of Wight

Published:  14 November, 2014

Serial production of blades at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s Isle of Wight blade technology centre is to begin from as early as quarter two 2015.

The Isle of Wight centre currently functions as a testing and verification centre for the development of the blades, but the announcement that MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will lease the production hall from January 2015 could lead to serial manufacturing and represents what has been described by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind CEO Jens Tommerup as: “The first stage of our industrial strategy here in the UK”. The strategy is expected in total to result in the safeguarding or creating of 800 jobs and up to £200million worth of investment, provided firm and unconditional offers are made to the joint venture for the purchase of turbines.

The announcement was made by the Secretary of State Rt Hon Edward Davey MP at the RenewableUK 36th Annual Conference in Manchester and comes on the same day as new figures show that jobs in medium and large onshore and offshore wind have increased by 8% over the last year and RenewableUK launched a faces of wind energy campaign to highlight the varied roles in the sector.

Commenting on the announcement, RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “This is great news for the Isle of Wight and UK, and demonstrates what we have always said, that there is a real opportunity to build a world-leading supply chain in the UK. Now we need to make sure in the run up to the General Election that politicians from all parties state their commitment to offshore wind and look to maximise the economic benefits from development of our great natural resource, in order to make certain this opportunity and others like it.”

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