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£50M Investment is New Catapult Centre to promote Renewable Energy

A new national £50 million centre to promote the commercialisation of green technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power will be

Narec is the UK’s national translational research centre for accelerating grid integration of renewable energy systems and catalysing the development and deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy generation technologies.

For further information on the test facility please contact: Steve Abbott, Marketing and Communications Manager on 01670 357 621 / 07766 498 068 or email

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power, transport and associated infrastructure.

For more information, please go to For further information please contact: ETI PR Manager Nigel Richardson on 01509 202084/07827 946064 or email

located in Glasgow. The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult will be based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow with an operational centre at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in the North East of England. The centre will focus on technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power and is designed to bridge the gap between university research and full commercialisation. It will have a UK wide remit, and build strong links with centres of excellence such as Wave Hub and the marine energy park in the South West of England. The Catapult centre programme is managed by the Technology Strategy Board as part of a wider support package for innovation.

The world’s largest wind turbine drive train test facility

Piling has started on the site of a new £35m wind turbine drive train testing facility at Narec in Northumberland. 292 piles will be drilled to 19m deep, ranging from 450mm diameter to 900mm diameter. When commissioned in summer 2013, the 15MW capacity test facility will be the most advanced of its type in the world, providing 6 degrees of freedom for applying load forces. To provide sufficient support for the rig, a 43-metre by 12-metre test bed foundation will be constructed to a depth of 4m. This will be contained within a 32-metre high steel framed building constructed with 1300 tonnes of steel. The access door is 20m x 20m and 2 x 250

Renewable Energy

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: “Our reputation and expertise in offshore engineering, gained through many years of commercial North Sea oil activity, makes the UK an excellent base for innovation relevant to the emerging offshore renewable energy sector.

“The generation and supply of renewable energy is now a major component of global energy and economic policies. UK businesses have an opportunity to be a significant part in this global industry.” The centre is expected to be open by summer this year. It will be delivered by a consortium comprised of the Carbon Trust, Narec and Ocean Energy innovation (itself an industrially led group with strong links into the world class capabilities developed at universities such as Strathclyde and Edinburgh). Professor Jim McDonald, Chairman of the Energy Technology Board and Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said:

“I am delighted that this truly

T cranes will lift test pieces into place. Tony Quinn, Director of Major Projects and Assets at Narec, said: “It’s great to see works starting on site for this world- leading facility, which will accelerate technology development and time to market for the UK offshore wind industry. It will provide Narec with a controlled environment to test the next generation of offshore turbines in accordance with international standards, before they are deployed in large numbers offshore.” Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive, said: “The test rig

that will be housed on the Narec site is the biggest project to date commissioned by the ETI and has seen us invest over £25m in its design, development and

commissioning. It will be a world leading large-scale engineering project and we look forward to the site being developed and taking shape over the next few months.” The ETI is investing £25m in the design, development and commissioning of the offshore wind test rig and One North East will invest £10 million in the building to house the rig.

collaborative bid has been successful. By securing the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the country will build on our already globally competitive reputation for advances in renewable technology and deployment. “Our world-class research base offers distinct advantages and will accelerate industrial innovation. We will help to develop and drive the industry over the coming ten years and beyond. “We aim to make the ORE Catapult the world’s pre-eminent centre of expertise for rapid development and commercialisation of highly innovative technologies that will substantially reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy.” To date Narec has invested £150 million to create the UK's national translational research centre for accelerating grid integration of renewable energy systems and catalysing the development and deployment of offshore renewables - wind, wave and tidal energy generation technologies.

Managing Water Magazine

In association with the FADS Directory

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