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NAREC is 'powerhouse' of UK renewable energy technology

The President of the Institution of Civil Engineers has described Blyth’s renewable energy centre as a ‘powerhouse’ in enhancing renewable energy technology in the UK.

Professor Barry Clarke was given a guided tour of the new facilities at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth.

Narec has invested more than £150 million of UK Government, private sector and European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) in world-leading capabilities which are enabling industry to deliver lower cost and more reliable offshore wind and tidal power.

At the centre, the President toured two new facilities, a new 100m Wind Turbine Blade Test Facility and a 3MW Tidal Turbine Test Facility

The facilities were opened in 2012, developed to meet manufacturers’ needs for testing the next generation of offshore wind turbine blades and tidal turbine generators.

Professor Clarke said: “The investment of public and private sector funds is helping to make Narec and the North East a powerhouse driving the commitment to develop and enhance renewable energy technology for the UK.

“I have no doubt that the future planned investment will continue this work.”

Tony Quinn, Operations Director, Narec, added: “These facilities are designed to perform extreme events and accelerated lifetime testing on wind and tidal turbines helping to reduce the technical and commercial risk of deployment and build confidence in the capital market.”

A former head of civil engineering at Newcastle University, Professor Barry Clarke visited the site as part of a two-day visit to the region.

During the second day of his return to the North East, Professor Clarke also spent time with industry leaders discussing the education and training of the future civil engineering workforce.

The visit was rounded off with the ICE North East annual dinner, at which Professor Clarke presented the Robert Stephenson Awards 2013.

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