Leading civil engineer hails Narec investment
The President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has been given a guided tour of the new facilities at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) 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.
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.
At Narec, the President toured two new facilities, opened in 2012, developed to meet manufacturers’ needs for testing the next generation of offshore wind turbine blades and tidal turbine generators. These are a new 100m Wind Turbine Blade Test Facility and a 3MW Tidal Turbine Test Facility. He also learned about plans for future investment.
Tony Quinn, Operations Director, Narec, explained: “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.”
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.”
Day 1 of the visit saw Professor Clarke take part in a debate on the resilience of the region’s infrastructure.
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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