Professor David MacKay, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Chief Scientific Advisor, and MP for Stafford Jeremy Lefroy visited Alstom Grid’s Stafford site and were impressed by the innovation going on behind the scenes. Hosted by Steve Burgin, UK Country President, Prof MacKay and Mr Lefroy visited the St Leonards and Lichfield Road Grid sites.
The tour of Alstom Grid included the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Centre of Excellence, which designs and delivers systems for use across the world. It is the only HVDC facility that can offer R&D, test facilities, laboratories, and design and manufacturing capabilities, including the only Voltage Source Converter (VSC) Demonstrator in the UK.
Prof MacKay said: “Being Staffordshire born and bred I wasn’t aware of the cutting edge work that is carried out here. It’s extremely exciting to see a VSC demonstrator model and today has been an extremely educational tour – it shows how important this facility is to not only the local area but for the country. It truly is an example of innovation in practice.”
“It was an honour and a pleasure to welcome Prof MacKay and Jeremy to Stafford and to showcase our innovative and award-winning work. Our Stafford global centre of excellence is just one of just three sites in the world to produce new VSC technology - it’s really exciting that we’re able to demonstrate Alstom’s ability to make a real difference to the way the world is shaped,” said Steve Burgin, Alstom UK Country President.
Prof MacKay was appointed to be Chief Scientific Advisor of the Department of Energy and Climate Change in September 2009. Prof MacKay is responsible for ensuring the best science and engineering advice underpins DECC’s policy and decision-making.
With around 2,000 people working across the town, Alstom is Stafford’s biggest employer.