Centre is a shining light for council

Electricians from Newcastle City Council's City Works division complete PV installer course at Narec's training centre in Blyth, Northumberland.
Electricians from Newcastle City Council's City Works division complete PV installer course at Narec's training centre in Blyth, Northumberland.

Blyth’s National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) is helping a north east council save money by making the most of whatever sunshine the weather has in store.

Nine electricians from the Newcastle City Council’s works division have been shown how to install solar panels by Narec staff.

The training is part of a sustainable energy action plan Narec is helping the council put together.

Narec’s new training centre – due to be officially opened next month – is aiming to fill a skills gap for technicians able to install and maintain renewable energy systems.

The centre offers a range of courses for the micro-renewable and distributed-energy sectors, including ones in fitting air and ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels.

Allen Jones, project director at Narec, said: “The feed-in tariff scheme, introduced by the government last year to incentivise small-scale low-carbon electricity generation, can make an important contribution to regeneration by helping local authorities to generate additional revenue, reduce carbon and increase electricity generated from renewables.

“The courses Narec has are helping local authorities take advantage of the opportunity.”

David Hall, head of the council’s building department, said: “Narec’s knowledge and expertise in delivering energy planning and training for the built environment is helping the council to drive forward the delivery of low-carbon energy schemes.”