Saturday, 20 March 2010

Wind turbine training tower opens

Published Date: 19 March 2010
The UK's first wind turbine training tower has been opened in Northumberland.
Built at the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in Blyth, the 27 metre high facility is designed to allow education and training for technicians working in the wind industry and at height, both onshore and offshore.It is hoped the facility, which was the result of a training partnership, backed by regional development agency One North East, between Northumberland College, Mainstream Renewable Power and Narec, will lead to an increase in the number of technicians suitably qualified to install, operate and maintain new and existing farms.One North East director of business and industry Ian Williams said: "Firms across North East England have already won over £150m of offshore wind contracts with the biggest opportunities from the Round 3 development still to come. "The creation of the wind turbine training tower and the developing training partnership will ensure the North East has skills to capitalise on the £100bn investment that will be made over the next decade."One North East established Narec to build on the region's existing strengths in energy and engineering and our funding for the new tower, Narec's 100m blade testing facility and drive train test rig, together with investment by firms like Clipper Windpower and JDR Cables have helped make North East England a leader in the development of offshore wind."Rachel Ellis-Jones, chief executive of Northumberland College said: "The Training Tower will help to ensure that the students on the wind technician training programme at Northumberland College are trained to British and European industrial standards. "The specification of the tower and the equipment within it will also allow us to develop new training modules which will enable us to meet the skills needs of the wind energy industry."