The Centre will become a leading facility for the development, design and testing of marine renewable construction materials and prototype foundations.
‘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,’ said Professor Rod Jones, Head of the new Centre.
‘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.
‘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 renewables sector is one that has been predicted to create up to 40,000 jobs and £30billion of investment to the Scottish economy, as well as providing the country’s main energy solutions. This Centre will help realise those ambitious goals.’
The creation of the Centre has been welcomed by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.
Mr Ewing 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.
‘The test centre in Dundee will complement the internationally recognised facilities provided by Flowave TT located at the University of Edinburgh and, of course, the world leading testing facilities offered at EMEC.’
The £2million Centre is being supported by with £833,000 funding newly announced by the European Regional Development Fund.
ERDF has also provided more than £160,000 to support the Offshore Renewables Institute, a major partnership between the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen and Robert Gordon, which has a specific focus on marine policy and planning.
‘Together these awards represent a major boost for Scotland’s offshore renewable energy ambitions,’ said Professor Stephen Decent, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Art, Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee.
‘Scotland is developing a leading position in low carbon energy development.
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.
‘The 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 earlier this year with the aim of becoming a recognised global authority on the delivery and implementation of offshore renewable energy.
The Institute is a partnership which brings together experts from different disciplines at the University of Dundee, the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University with the aim of developing and delivering solutions for the offshore wind industry in the North Sea and globally.
‘We require people with the skill sets to deliver this industry safely and efficiently in the challenging and hostile environment of the North Sea,’ said Professor Paul Mitchell, Director of the Offshore Renewables Institute. ‘That’s an area where we have experience second-to-none, through three decades of producing the workforce for the oil and gas sector.’
Press Release, January 14, 2014