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New facility lets wind farm engineers train in Scotland

What is believed to be the UK's first training centre for onshore wind farms based around a fully functional decommissioned wind turbine will open for business in Fife on Tuesday.

At the heart of the new facility at Crossgates, near Dunfermline, is a recently decommissioned German-built Senvion MD70 wind turbine. In addition, a 17-metre high tower has been erected to provide training at height for engineers.

The £200,000 facility has been set up by the Nottinghamshire-based Mines Rescue Service and will allow the staff of Scottish wind farms to carry out their professional training in Scotland. Because of the limited facilities in Scotland, many engineers and safety officials have had to travel to centres in England to complete mandatory health and safety training.

The Crossgates Wind Turbine Training Facility, which has received financial support from Scottish Enterprise, will be officially opened by Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing. He said Scotland needs to develop a skilled workforce if it wants to fulfil its potential of being a world leader in sustainable energy.

The Fife facility will equip engineers with all the necessary expertise to work safely and effectively with onshore wind turbines, and will provide training courses, accredited by RenewableUK and the Global Wind Organisation, on topics including working at height rescue, fire awareness and first aid.

The new Crossgates facility will be the second of the company's turbine training facilities dedicated to the wind energy sector. For more than 100 years, the company's Scottish division specialised in the rescue and escape of mineworkers from underground, but has restructured following the closure of Scotland's last deep coal mine at Longannet in 2002.

Mines Rescue Service now offers a range of health and safety related products and training, and safety services. It employs more than 150 people at six sites across the UK.

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252018