In a first for the UK wind industry, the bespoke facility is part of the Northumberland port’s significant investment in training aimed at the offshore energy sector, and has a full-sized, specially modified wind turbine.
It was opened by the leader of Northumberland County Council, Glen Sanderson, and is now available for hire through the port’s award-winning training division, Port Training Services.
Martin Lawlor, chief executive of Port of Blyth, said: “We’re delighted to officially launch the wind turbine training facility with the support of the sizeable supply chain located at the port and leading players in the renewables sector in the North East in attendance.
“Our commitment to improving the prospects of local people entering the offshore energy sector has been significant, be it through our active STEM hub, our leading schools and university partnerships or our award-winning post 16 subsea and renewables diploma, and we know that this training facility will be another key tool for both the community and the industry.”
The facility features a modified, former operational wind turbine for practical training alongside a dedicated training centre with modern classrooms and facilities. The turbine features a duplicate nacelle unit designed for safe training at height with the original nacelle located at ground level for technical training.
Mr Sanderson said: “With many major offshore wind related projects being completed at the port and the river being home to the world-leading offshore renewable energy catapult, it is safe to say that the renewables sector is playing a huge role in both the growth and reputation of the Port of Blyth and indeed the resurgence of the town itself.
"I’m looking forward to the wind technicians of the future based locally taking their first steps into the industry via this superb facility.”
Port of Blyth is home to some of the world’s most prominent offshore energy companies and has been involved in a number of internationally significant projects.
Its strategic mid North Sea location ensures it is also well placed to support the installation and operation of wind farms down the UK’s east coast.