By Isabella Kaminski
Manchester-based Siemens Transmission and Distribution is developing its projects business, which designs and builds transmission systems to connect national power networks to new energy sources – especially offshore wind.
Most of the jobs – there could be up to 340 – will be based at a purpose-built facility currently under construction at Princess Park in Manchester. The building, which will be called the Renewable Energy Engineering Centre, will house the Siemens Global Centre of Competence for High Voltage Grid Connections (HVDC).
It will design and build HVDC transmission systems for the UK and North-West European market, and will be aimed, in particular, at meeting the expanding needs of the renewable energy market. According to Siemens, the centre will be the first of its kind outside Germany.
Siemens is looking to recruit both graduates and professionals for the new technology centre. It intends to recruit intensively from universities with courses in in electrical and power engineering – both graduate and post-graduate – and from the existing workforce in the UK and Europe. It will also recruit engineers from other sectors such as oil and gas, industrial automation and the armed forces.
John Willcock, Director of major projects for Siemens Transmission and Distribution, says: “The UK's Round 3 offshore wind farms will be sited much further out to sea than previous developments and so will need HVDC technology to overcome the power losses that occur when bringing electricity ashore over longer distances. Strengthening our UK expertise in HVDC is therefore central to Siemens' strategy and will help us maintain our leading market position in the UK."
According to Siemens, the building is part of the company’s wider strategy to make the UK self-sufficient for the engineering and project management of future systems including HVDC Plus converters. Siemens recently announced its role as the HVDC contractor for the BritNed project, the first-ever interconnector between the Netherlands and the UK.