5th October 2015

AIS Training has secured use of Catapult's 27-metre high wind turbine training tower, which is located at the world-renowned National Renewable Energy Centre test and research facility in Blyth (formerly known as Narec).

At 27-metres high the Catapult’s onshore wind training tower is almost double the current height required for working at height training by industry bodies such as RenewableUK and the Global Wind Organisation. This additional height enables AIS Training to recreate the conditions of working at the eye-watering heights of real wind turbines – some of which reach 125 metres.

The training tower complements AIS’s Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence, which sits alongside its state-of-the-art, 150,000 sq ft offshore training village on North Tyneside. Purpose-built within a 6,000 sq ft industrial unit, the centre features a 15 metre long climbing and rescue platform with 12 stations incorporating vertical fall-arrest safety systems, a mock nacelle, three technical engineering areas and three state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with the latest Wi-Fi enabled IT systems.

Since it opened in February AIS has seen overwhelming demand at its Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence and has trained in excess of five thousand delegates for the global wind sector.

Dave Bowyer, director of training and education at AIS, said: “In order to ensure ‘work-ready’ personnel, the more realistic the training conditions are the better. That’s why we are delighted to sign this strategic agreement with ORE Catapult which enables us to create a new wind training experience that exceeds everything else currently available in the marketplace.

“The wind industry is experiencing unprecedented growth at the moment as a result of new offshore wind projects such as Dogger Bank and East Anglia One. We are anticipating training many of the workers required to meet this demand, which is great news for the North East putting us firmly at the forefront of skills and competency training for the global wind energy sector.”

Tony Quinn, Operations Director at ORE Catapult, commented: “With operation and maintenance (O&M) costs accounting for between 20-25% of the total lifetime costs of an offshore wind farm, working at height and vessel transfer is an essential yet hazardous process when conducting vital operations and maintenance.

“Our partnership with AIS and the training tower provides a perfect environment to support the training of technicians embarking on a career in the wind industry, and I look forward to exploring future opportunities together to meet the demands of the sector.”

To find out more about AIS’s new renewable energy campus and the wide range of courses available please contact us on 0844 800 1810.