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£30m energy R&D site is now open in Gateshead

11 September 2017

InTEGReL – Integrated Transport Electricity Gas Research Laboratory aims to develop a fully integrated, zero carbon energy network playing host to top technology systems.

InTEGReL – Integrated Transport Electricity Gas Research Laboratory (Credit: Newcastle University)

Launched by Newcastle University, Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Northern Powergrid, InTEGReL is the UK’s first integrated energy systems research, development and demonstration site. It will play host to cutting edge energy systems technology, allowing businesses to test their ideas in real-world conditions and at a large scale and it will feature the latest research into battery storage and be at the forefront of hydrogen expertise. 

When finished, the site will have a high tech battery storage and research lab, domestic appliances and smart system demonstration homes as well as hydrogen and CNG refuelling stations for vehicles.

Teams of academics and engineers will work to tackle the UK’s energy challenges, delivering breakthroughs on decarbonisation of heat, energy storage and transport. The principle aim will be to identify the most affordable and practical solution to moving customers onto low carbon, low cost energy.

Professor Phil Taylor, Head of Engineering for Newcastle University and Head of the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, said:

“Computer models can only take us so far in understanding energy systems and developing and evaluating new techniques and technologies, so there is a critical need for full-scale integrated energy system research and demonstration facilities where new ideas can be trialled and evaluated.

“These facilities are key in building confidence in new methods and technologies, in terms of both performance and safety, and this is what underpins our research at Newcastle University. Through integrating the learning from our smart grid laboratory, energy storage test bed on Science Central and now InTEGReL, the aim is to test the whole energy system and really understand how we need to evolve and adapt to meet future supply and demand.”

Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “I welcome the launch of InTEGReL, the UK’s first integrated energy systems R&D facility. As part of our Industrial Strategy this Government is working closely with partners in the energy sector to position the UK at the forefront of global efforts to develop carbon-free energy solutions.

“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 £246 million investment in battery technology and £25 million in the development of hydrogen gas technology have been central to this.”

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