NESCol unveils renewable energy expansion plans following £200,000 donation

April 12, 2022

North East Scotland College is set to transform an area of its Fraserburgh Campus into a renewable energy training hub after receiving a £200,000 donation to fund the innovative project.

The generous contribution has come from a local business. The same company provided £100,000 in 2020 to support a separate initiative, which led to the creation of the Future Skills Zone in Fraserburgh and is driving education in areas including Robotics, 3D printing and plotting, virtual reality and other technology focused areas.

The Future Skills Zone was officially launched at an event attended by regional partners, stakeholders, students, local school pupils, staff and NESCol Regional Board members in April 2022.

The new tranche of funding will enable the design and development of the Future Green Zone.

A purpose-built workshop will be formed for the delivery of electrical and mechanical renewable engineering programmes for students and school pupils in Fraserburgh and surrounding areas with ambitions to work in the renewable sector.

The facilities will also offer the opportunity to upskill Modern Apprentices and reskill existing employees for the sector as well as supporting the expansion of existing programmes, which include NESCol’s offshore wind technician training.

The Future Green Zone will be designed to offer maximum flexibility and will feature a range of renewable components including motors, valves and turbine parts attached to portable rigs which can be tailored to course requirements.

NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: “Our College prides itself on its role as an anchor institution in the communities we serve and on the partnerships we have formed with businesses and organisations who share our ambitions for the North East of Scotland. This incredibly generous donation is a wonderful demonstration of the support that exists for NESCol and, particularly in this case, of the determination to ensure exciting opportunities in thriving industries can be embraced.”

Duncan Abernethy, NESCol’s Director of Business Development, said: “We are very grateful to receive such a significant donation – it is quite overwhelming generosity from a local business. NESCol has a crucial part to play in energy transition and in underpinning the region’s sustainability goals and the Future Green Zone will be integral to that. In a very challenging financial environment, this contribution has turned a project that would have been impossible into a reality. It will have a hugely positive impact on Fraserburgh and the region.”

A spokesperson for the business said: “We share the College’s goal of providing education and vocational training that leads to rewarding career paths, both for those starting out on their journey and others who are seeking to retrain or upskill. The investment in the Fraserburgh Campus recognises the contribution made by NESCol and the desire to ensure our community is at the heart of the growth in green energy.”

The Future Green Zone will support the ongoing development of renewables programmes at the College, providing progression routes for existing Skills for Work Energy pathways. Training provision will include: Testing and development of model turbine blades; Hydraulics and pneumatics; Monitoring and optimising solar panel performance; District heating connectivity and transportation; Hydrogen technology; Electric Vehicle technology.

Pictured: NESCol Principal Neil Cowie pictured in the Future Skills Zone at the Fraserburgh Campus.