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Battery experts tour college’s new training facilities

Robert Lees director of engineering and aviation shows the group round Telford College

Top national and industry experts visited Telford to see for themselves how it is helping to develop cutting-edge green technology – and training the engineers of the future.

Battery specialist AceOn welcomed Jeff Pratt, managing director of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, and members of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge to the company’s Stafford Park headquarters.

They later headed to Telford College to see the new training centre for battery and energy storage technology which has been developed by AceOn in partnership with the college.

Mark Thompson, AceOn’s group managing director, said: “The new training centre will make sure existing installers and students have the skills needed to take their place in the renewable energy sector, which is going to make up an increasingly important share of the economy.

“The centre at the college’s Wellington campus has a series of renewable training rigs for learning about specialist services such as solar panels, electric vehicle charging, air source heat pumps, and underfloor heating.

“I’m delighted that AceOn has been able to work with Telford College to get the training centre up and running, and it was great to be able to show Jeff and the Faraday Challenge representatives the innovative work which is going on here in Shropshire.

Inside Telford Colleges construction centre
Inside Telford College’s construction centre

“We’ve just enjoyed our best ever year at AceOn and it is terrific to see the way green technology is developing and responding to the demands of the climate and energy crises.

“We are proud to be playing our part and there is no doubt that 2023 will be the ‘Year of the Battery’ as demand for renewable and energy storage technology soars.”

Robert Lees, director of engineering and aviation at Telford College, said: “The delegates were shown around our engineering Discovery Centre, and were interested to discuss the skills we are teaching our full time students and how they may transfer into the battery production sector.

“We then went to the Construction Centre to look at the new mezzanine floor which has been added, allowing us to deliver new courses centred around green technology.

“They were particularly interested in our commitment to delivering courses centred around electrical energy storage systems.”

The £130 million UK Battery Industrialisation Centre is part of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, committed to developing battery technology for the transition to a greener future.

It provides an important link between battery technology, which has proved promising at laboratory or prototype scale, and successful mass production.

Tony Harper, from the Faraday Battery Challenge, said he was delighted to see the work being carried out by both AceOn and Telford College.

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