A new £30m renewable energy research centre based at Rowlands Gill on the south side of the Tyne has been launched by Northern Gas Networks (NGN). The InTEGReL facility (Integrated Transport Electricity Gas Research Laboratory) is the first of its kind in the UK.
It will look at low carbon and renewable energy ‘integrated’ applications in the power, gas, heat and transport sectors. For example, transport fuels, hybrid and electric technology and battery storage technology could be explored.
The site will work in collaboration with Northern Powergrid and Newcastle University, in partnership with the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration.
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has backed the new Gateshead facility. He said: “The InTEGReL project demonstrates how the private sector – working with the UK’s world class higher education sector – can take a leading role in helping Britain reach our 2050 emission reduction target.
“This Government is committed to supporting low carbon energy solutions in the UK, and our recent £246m investment in battery technology and £25m in the development of hydrogen gas technology have been central to this.”
Energy expert analysis
The launch of a new multi-million pound collaborative, renewable and low carbon energy research and development centre, focussing on technology integration, is great news for the region. It should put the North East firmly at the centre of the government’s industrial strategy as far as energy goes.
Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons