Energy innovation for north west

A new energy research centre planned for the north west is set to create new jobs for the region and encourage small business to contribute to the energy industry.


Power management company EA Technology is building its Energy Innovation Centre in Capenhurst near Chester with the assistance of a £1.5m grant from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).


The centre is designed to enable start-up companies and individuals to turn innovative ideas into commercially successful products and services for the energy industry. The project will create at least 60 new jobs and 18 new business start ups over the next 5 years.


Mark Hughes, executive director for enterprise and skills at the NWDA said: ‘The energy sector makes an important contribution to the region’s economy, contributing approximately £5bn and employing over 50,000 people in the north west. This new centre will provide crucial support and investment for new businesses looking to bring new products and processes to the market, which will help to promote the sector’s continued growth and development.’


Start-up companies will be able to use specialist facilities and equipment and gain access to electricity network operators who will also be prospective customers for the start ups. Electricity network operators Electricity North West, Scottish Power and CE Electric are project partners. They will provide financial assistance to the start ups via the ‘Innovation Funding Incentive’, an Ofgem approved scheme for supporting innovation and research in electricity transmission and distribution.