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Windpower giant turns to Narec for crucial test; ENERGY Ruth Lognonne? 0191 201 6139 ?

Byline: Ruth Lognonne

WINDPOWER giant Siemens has announced it will test its new groundbreaking tidal turbine device at a multi-million-pound research facility in Northumberland.

The Blyth-based National Renewable Energy Centre, or Narec, will test the SeaGen-S device developed by Siemensowned Marine Current Turbines (MCT) at its new onshore facility later this year.

The six-month programme will focus on validating the new 1mw power train, to ready it for deployment offshore.

Andrew Mill, chief executive at Narec, said: "We are delighted MCT has chosen Narec to play a significant role in supporting the commercialisation of their new tidal energy device.

"MCT will benefit from full-scale onshore testing in our 3mw capacity drive train test facility in preparation for deployment offshore.

"Confirmation of a second major client to utilise the new facility is further evidence of the value of accelerated life testing to support the growth of tidal renewables in the UK."

Narec has invested more than PS150m of government, private sector and European Union funding to create its testing and research facilities, operated on an open-access, commercial basis in Blyth. The 3mw drive train test facility is jointly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and by the European Regional Development Fund.

A 15mw drive train test facility will be commissioned at Narec this summer.

The PS45m facility is funded by the Energy Technologies Institute, the Technology Strategy Board and former regional development agency One North East.

Matthew Reed, engineering director at Siemens-owned MCT, said: "This test programme forms the cornerstone of our proactive and comprehensive range of testing aimed at proving new designs.

"The Narec facility provides us with the opportunity to perform extensive characterisation and endurance testing of our latest tidal turbine power trains, and this complete water-to-wire system validation will serve to prove the quality of the design prior to deployment in tidal power plant arrays."

Testing will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Steve Abbott, Narec's marketing and communications manager, said: "This shows the leading role that we are playing in the region to help commercialise the best technologies and coincides with MCT's plans for five of the new machines to be deployed on a commercial site in Wales for operation in 2015."

Atlantis Resources Corporation completed the first ever tidal turbine testing programme at the Blyth demonstration centre in October last year Narec's controlled testing environment allowed the team to study turbine performance under a demanding, simulated offshore operating conditions, accruing a wealth of data in a short space of time.

A Renewable UK report was released last week which says that the wave and tidal energy could be worth PS6.1bn to the UK by 2035, creating nearly 20,000 jobs - up from today's 1,000 employed in these sectors.

Confirmation of a second major client ... is further evidence of the value of accelerated life testing


ROYAL GUEST The Duke of York visited the National Renewable Energy Centre to open two new facilities for the development of offshore renewable energy technologies. Narec is to test a groundbreaking tidal turbine device being developed by Siemens-owned Marine Current Turbines
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 5, 2013
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