The Offshore Renewables Institute (ORI) is a new 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.

The universities said the Dundee-based ORI will aim to provide effective, practical and timely help to the offshore renewables sector, government and wider society through consultancy, research, policy advice and professional development.

“The UK and Scottish Governments have set ambitious targets for 2020 for offshore wind deployment. This presents us with an array of challenges – and not only in terms of the improving technology,” said ORI founding director Professor Paul Mitchell of the University of Aberdeen.

“We need to look at the environmental impact of such large developments, the legal issues, safety of course – and how we can increase efficiency and reduce costs over the lifetime of a project. We need a variety of experts around these problems, all working together to a common goal,” he added.

The Offshore Renewables Institute will focus specifically on deployment and implementation, rather than technology and equipment. The partnership has identified four main areas of expertise that are particularly relevant to the offshore renewables industry:

  • Regulation, Law and Economics - including policy, regulation and finance;
  • Environment and Consents - covering environmental impact, long-term monitoring, and mitigation strategies;
  • Design, Fabrication and Installation - including foundations and substructures, geotechnics and access
  • Asset Management, covering operations, safety and reliability, and training.

“This exciting development builds on the fruits of intensive planning involving our three universities and wind industry experts. It will complement work elsewhere in Scotland on turbine manufacture by focussing on areas that can deliver the efficiencies and cost reductions needed to drive the financial viability of this burgeoning industry,” said Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee Professor Pete Downes.

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