Offshore engineering firm awarded £multi-million Narec contract

Animation still of what the proposed demonstration site would look like from the anemometry hub

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) has awarded SeaRoc a multi-million pound contract to install its anemometry hub off the Northumberland coast.

The exact figure cannot be disclosed by the companies but the contract means that SeaRoc will charter a ship to move Narec’s offshore anemometry hub from the Port of Tyne to three miles off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland.

The tripod foundation, science platform and met mast tower sections of the hub will be transported by SeaRoc in September. Once assembled the structure will weigh over 700 tonnes and stand 100 meters above sea level.

Andrew Mill, CEO of Narec, said: “SeaRoc was selected to deliver the full installation service because of their proven track record in offshore renewables and ability to meet our project timescales.

“This is a one-off specialist engineering solution and we have been impressed with their innovative approach.”

The anemometry hub structure in construction

The anemometry hub will measure the wind resource for Narec’s proposed Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Site. The data will supplement analysis of weather conditions which have recorded at this site over the last two years.

Narec launched a procurement process in May to identify industry partners to collaborate on building the offshore site, which will comprise three lots with five pods in each lot.

Partners who meet the criteria will be invited to submit their proposals. Narec is looking to identify three partners who can provide approximately one third of £1 billion to fund the site build.

The project, including the anemometry hub, has been funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, who awarded £18.5m in February 2010, and the no disbanded regional development agency One North East’s Single Programme Fund, which awarded £4.35m in March 2010.

Narec hope the site will provide the catalyst for taking next generation technologies through to full production.

Toby Mead, operations director at SeaRoc, said: “The Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Site is key to the future of offshore wind, both in the UK and globally. We view this project as an ideal opportunity to develop a strong working relationship with Narec.”