Norstec Academy Takes Students on Offshore Wind Tour
Today, students from universities around the UK and one from the Netherlands will kick off their tour of the offshore wind industry as part of the Norstec Academy skills pilot.
Launched in May this year through a student competition, winners will participate in a one week tailored tour visiting sites and meeting experts across the UK to gain a holistic view of the industry. The Carousel will showcase the industry as part of the Academy’s goal to inform and inspire the next generation of potential employees about offshore renewables.
North-west Europe is the global leader in offshore wind, accounting for around 90% of global installed capacity and the lion’s share of this is in the UK. Offshore wind in the UK alone provides around 8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of clean energy annually, equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 2 million homes. In addition to the environmental benefits of the industry are the economic and social benefits of long term job creation, new skills and the positive transformative effect on local economies and communities.
Julian Brown, Areva UK Head of Wind Power and Chairman of Norstec said:
“The Carousel will provide students with a unique opportunity to meet experts and visit sites they would not normally have access to. Equally important is the invaluable insights and knowledge they will gain about an industry that is key part of the low carbon economy. Norstec’s vision of success for this pilot is to inspire and enthuse these young people to consider this industry when they think about their future career paths. Everyone is really looking forward to the engaging through the Carousel.”
This enthusiasm is also evident in student posts, such as that in competition winner Luke Malin, studying MEng Mechanical Engineering at Coventry University, said:
“I’m so happy and excited for this opportunity to learn first-hand about the offshore wind industry. I hope this will give me the insight I need to develop a career within wind energy.”
The second of two one week tours will commence in Glasgow, where students will have the opportunity to visit leading experts and facilities to learn about political, legal, social and economic factors that are shaping the future of this rapidly growing sector. At the start of the week students will meet experts from a wide range of organisations – RenewableUK, ORE Catapult, Gamesa UK, DB Wind and Siemens. Students will have the opportunity to visit truly leading edge research and development and manufacturing facilities to understand more about how the industry is innovating and investing in new energy technology for the future.
From Glasgow students will then progress to Siemens Renewable Energy Engineering Centre in Manchester to learn about the complex design and engineering challenges involved in offshore grid connections, followed by an expert session with Bureau Veritas. This leg of the trip also includes an offshore wind farm trip lead by DONG Energy to Burbo BanK provide insight into a fully operational wind farm.
The final stages of the journey are in London where students will take part in an exciting and varied programme including sessions on community engagement with Copper Consultancy and Alan Whitehead MP, to NGO perspectives with E3G, to finance with Paradigm Capital. Big picture long-term supergrid plans on a European level will be covered by Mainstream Renewable Power, and Engineering Consultants Parsons Brinkerhoff will provide insights into engineering challenges offshore.
“There is something for everyone in offshore renewables,” says Brown, “and we as an industry need to reach out and tap into the high quality of talent demonstrated by the competition entries. Everyone is really looking forward to the Carousel. We encourage everyone to get on board.”