Dundee University launches new £2 million offshore marine renewables test centre

Dundee UniversityDundee University has set up a new £2 million Marine Renewables Test Centre (MRTC) to help Scotland to meet its ambitious renewable energy electricity-generation target by 2020.

The new centre is set to become a leading facility for the development, design and testing of marine renewable construction materials and prototype foundations.

Professor Rod Jones, Head of the new Centre, explained: “Scotland is well placed to deliver offshore wind and marine renewables and meet its ambitious targets for 2020 but there are still some significant challenges to be addressed,’

‘While 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.

‘We have world-leading expertise at Dundee in the development of concrete technology and the modelling of novel foundation solutions. Our new test 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 renewables sector is ultimately predicted to create up to 40,000 jobs and £30 billion of investment to the Scottish economy, as well as providing the country’s main energy solutions. The Marine Renewables Test Centre will help realise those ambitious goals.

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister, commented: ‘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.

‘The test centre in Dundee will complement the internationally recognised facilities provided by Flowave TT and the world leading testing facilities offered at EMEC.’

Dundee University also recently set up the Offshore Renewables Institute (ORE) a major partnership with Aberdeen and Robert Gordon universities which has a specific focus on marine policy and planning.

Professor Stephen Decent, Vice-Principal at Dundee University said: “Scotland is developing a leading position in low carbon energy development and these initiatives represent a major boost for Scotland’s offshore renewable energy ambitions.

“The Energy Technology Partnership, of which the three ORI universities are members, is now well established and recently we have seen the creation of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre in Glasgow.

“Our new Marine Renewables Test Centre and the Offshore Renewables Institute complete the jigsaw by providing world-class expertise in engineering, policy and planning.”

The Offshore Renewables Institute was launched with the aim of becoming a recognised global authority on the delivery and implementation of offshore renewable energy.

Professor Paul Mitchell, Director of the Offshore Renewables Institute, added: “We require people with the skill sets to deliver this industry safely and efficiently in the challenging and hostile environment of the North Sea.

“That’s an area where we have experience second-to-none, through three decades of producing the workforce for the oil and gas sector.”

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