£2.8m initiative builds on renewable energy

Atlantis's 1MW tidal power turbine which is being tested at Narec.
Atlantis's 1MW tidal power turbine which is being tested at Narec.
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Companies looking to expand in the renewable energy industry are set to receive key support thanks to a new initiative.

The Blyth-based National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) has established a £2.8m public-private initiative to support small and medium businesses move into the offshore wind and marine renewable energy supply chain.

The Renewable Technology Accelerator (RETA) project will launch with three new collaborations, involving companies developing innovative technologies to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy installations.

Tony Ikwue, innovation and corporate development director at Narec, said: “Narec has created this programme to build on the strengths of local engineering companies.

“Initial interest from industry has been extremely high and the projects selected will see new products being developed in the north east.

“There will also be knock-on benefits by way of supply contracts and knowledge transfer opportunities for SMEs looking to enter these promising but still relatively immature industries.”

Over its lifetime, the project is expected to help more than 70 regional SMEs.

The European Regional Development Fund competitiveness programme is investing £1.39m in the project, which is being matched by Narec and five industry partners.

The three projects are inter-array cable trencher, smart cables for offshore power transmission, and tidal energy converter nacelle intervention system.