The Digital, Autonomous and Robotics Engineering (DARE) Centre at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s testing facility in Blyth has been opened today (Thursday) by Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, the Rt Hon. Graham Stuart MP.
In collaboration with ORE Catapult, Building Design Northern (BDN) provided multi-discipline design services as part of the Design & Build contract, with Hall Construction acting as main contractor for the £3m state-of-the-art DARE centre. As the first of its kind in the UK, the centre will provide a unique opportunity for developers, researchers and wider industry to test, demonstrate and commercialise innovative digital and robotic products and services for the offshore renewable energy market.
Award-winning Sunderland and Ulverston based multi-disciplinary practice, Building Design Northern (BDN), provided Architect, Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering professional services which saw a collaborated detailed design alongside the MEP Engineer and wider construction team. Partially located within a dry dock dating back to the 19th century, the facility required a complex and innovative design solution.
The new facility will pave the way for the very latest next-generation technologies being developed for the offshore renewables sector.
Director of Operations at BDN, Ryan Doyle, said, “Building Design Northern are proud to have been involved in an innovative project, delivering multi-discipline services for ORE Catapult. Our design team demonstrated their skill and commitment, managing the complexities of the design to deliver the project successfully.
The DARE facility will be a hub of innovation for the offshore renewable energy industry and it is great to celebrate a huge milestone in the project as the facility opens.”
“Building Design Northern are proud to have been involved in an innovative project, delivering multi-discipline services for ORE Catapult. Our design team demonstrated their skill and commitment, managing the complexities of the design to deliver the project successfully.”
As offshore wind in the UK gets ready to triple capacity over the next decade, the adoption of robotics and autonomous systems is vital to achieving this rapid expansion and reaching Net Zero. These technologies play an increasingly important role in the offshore renewable energy sector, and the UK is primed to establish a world-leading supply chain linked to their future development.
Technology tested at the DARE Centre will support the expansion of the offshore wind market and turbocharge the success of services and digital infrastructure surrounding the industry.
The DARE Centre includes a robotics assembly bay, an airborne robotics test zone, three dry docks with 20,000m3 capacity and test control rooms linked to the docks via a live environment monitoring system. The centre is the latest part of ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, which offers a wide range of test and validation facilities, including market-leading wind turbine testing and an offshore demonstration zone.
To find out more at the DARE Centre, please visit > ORE Catapult: Testing Digital, Autonomous and Robotics Assets – ORE
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