NaREC to Launch First Tidal Test Facility in Europe

The New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) is one of Europe's leading independent facilities for the testing and development of innovative new energy technologies. This June, NaREC will launch the only independent large scale tidal testing facility for device prototypes in Europe.

NaREC will be the only UK-based facility capable of realistically simulating conditions for prototype tidal devices at large scale. Following successful trials at NaREC, tidal developers will be better placed to demonstrate and launch their full scale devices at open sea deployment sites.

This new facility, based at the Tees Barrage, Stockton-on-Tees, will compliment NaREC's existing marine renewable capabilities in Northumberland, for grid connection, power conversion, and large scale wave device testing. NaREC's range of full scale prototype testing facilities for marine renewables will help to drive the advancement of wave and tidal technologies across Europe, being a key stepping stone for developers as they take their concepts to market.

The first trials at the Barrage will take place at the launch event on 8th June 2007. The event will bring together tidal developers, investors and industry stakeholders who are invited to witness these first demonstrations and discuss future projects. The demonstration tests will involve a tidal turbine prototype known as 'Evopod', developed by marine consultancy Overberg Limited. The event will include a networking lunch and a number of technical presentations including a keynote speech from CEO of NaREC Andrew Mill, and Graeme Mackie, MD of Overberg Limited.

There are many companies worldwide developing unique technologies to harness wave and tidal energy. In order to make these concepts market leaders, developers must follow a strict development process, gradually increasing the size of their prototype models from small scale to full-scale.

Jamie Grimwade, Marine Renewable Technical Specialist at NaREC is keen to get started;
"Tidal renewables are well on their way to becoming commercial - the tide is highly predictable and submerged tidal turbine concepts present no visual impact. NaREC is in a great position to give this market sector the support it needs to fast track the testing and evaluation of concepts in a big way."

If readers and members of the media would like to attend the launch and demonstration day, please contact Tom Bradley at NaREC, Direct Dial: 01670 357338. Email:


Editors Notes

The New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) was established in 2002 as a Centre for Excellence for new and renewable energy technologies. Based in Blyth, Northumberland, NaREC is working to enable the move towards a low carbon economy on a National and International scale by assisting the development and market growth of new energy technologies. NaREC is one of the five centres of excellence set up by the North East's regional development agency, One Northeast.

NaREC encompasses a range of research, testing and development facilities across the spectrum of energy industries. A specialised team of technical and engineering consultants with a wide range of practical experience work to support the development and testing facilities at NaREC, helping to bridge the gap between innovation and realisation.

NaREC's unique world-class facilities offer testing and development of large wind turbine blades, marine renewables, offshore and subsea equipment, micro-renewables and High Voltage electrical equipment. NaREC also has facilities and consultancy expertise for the development and integration of large and small-scale renewables into the energy mix including assistance with small scale embedded generation and power systems analysis. NaREC also runs the UK's only Independent Photovoltaic R&D Laboratory, combining small scale manufacturing and solar cell process development.

The New and Renewable Energy Centre Limited is a self-standing but not for profit organisation (a company limited by guarantee). It has been created in the North East of England to be a Centre of Excellence providing enablement, testing and development services to the energy sector.

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