£2m marine test centre to be created in Dundee

Offshore wind farm generic The centre will design and test construction materials for the renewables industry

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A £2m marine renewables test centre is to be created at the University of Dundee.

The facility will help develop and test construction materials to be used in projects such as offshore wind farms.

It aims to complement work being done by Flowave TT in Edinburgh and the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) in Orkney.

It comes after plans were announced in May to create an Offshore Renewables Institute in Dundee.

The Scottish government aims to meet the equivalent of 100% of gross electricity consumption in Scotland through renewables by 2020.

Professor Rod Jones, who will head the new centre, said that although Scotland was well placed to meet the target, there were still "significant challenges" to be addressed.

He said: "Although considerable progress has been made in developing and manufacturing turbines, the main challenges now lie in the design, commissioning and deployment of key structural components such as concrete foundations for offshore wind farms. "

'Continued commitment'

He added: "We have world-leading expertise at Dundee in the development of concrete technology and the modelling of novel foundation solutions.

"This new centre will build on that and be integral to the provision of, demonstration and certification of marine materials and structures, which are particularly needed by industry if we are to successfully deploy the systems required to exploit Scotland's natural resources in wind and marine energy."

The new centre is being supported with £833,000 funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, said: "The creation and launch of the Marine Renewables Test Centre, located at the University of Dundee, is a further demonstration of Scotland's continued commitment to the development and future commercialisation of the marine renewables industry in Scotland."

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