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International engineering students from Newcastle University’s campus in Singapore have visited the Northeast to see first hand, one of Europe’s most influential smart grid projects.

Through the university’s Overseas Immersion Programme, 61 students studying Electrical Power Engineering were invited to tour Northern Powergrid’s giant 5MWh energy storage battery in Darlington.

The battery is one of six energy storage devices installed across the region for the Customer-Led Network Revolution project and is helping to meet the electricity demands of more than 14,000 homes and businesses in the area.

Ian Lloyd, Network Technology Project Manager, from Northern Powergrid, said: “Essentially the CLNR project is about finding ways to meet energy challenges; making sure electricity networks are fit for purpose in the future. These students are the next generation of engineers so we’re thrilled that we’ve been able to show them on site how we’re working towards a smarter network, particularly as they will the ones tackling the challenges we’re facing throughout their careers and further develop solutions.”

The CLNR project is exploring a range of customer and network technology solutions, energy storage being one of them, to ensure that the network can cope with the anticipated uptake of low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and solar panels.

Ian added: “We’re very proud to be leading the way in the Northeast on such an important low-carbon project which could kick-start the fundamental changes needed to make the low-carbon future a reality,”

Student, Chek Chew, described the experience as an “Electrifying eye opener.”

The Overseas Immersion Programme is an intense four-week schedule designed to give students the chance to experience excellent teaching, research and industry facilities through a series of industrial sessions and practical lab work.

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