GE Renewable Energy is seeking permission to build a research and development facility at Southampton’s Centenary Quay in the UK. 

The facility would test prototypes of various rotor components for use in wind turbines, the company said. 

Plans filed with Southampton council feature a 3680 metre-square prototype hall, a 6957 metre-square testing area and a large blade storage area along the quayside. 

The council is currently consulting with locals over the designs and is expected to reach a final decision on the plans by January. 

Southampton is GE’s preferred location for the facility, among several potential sites that have been considered worldwide. 

“There is already an excellent supply base and an available pool of highly experienced staff at all levels with strong, local academic institutions,” GE said. 

The facility would directly employ up to 100 engineers, technicians and support staff, if consented. 

The plans mark a rethink from the US giant, which until recently had been planning to build a 3147 metre-square blade fabrication facility at the same location.

Image: GE