Ireland Opens Ocean Renewables Research Center
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. has officially opened the UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, which will provide Ireland with world-class infrastructure for renewable energy and maritime research to power the blue economy.
The 4,700m squared five storey building features state-of-the-art wave simulators, test tanks, workshops and offices.
Named after the Irish hydrographer and globally adopted Beaufort Wind Scale creator, Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, the Beaufort building will house the headquarters of the multi-institutional home to the SFI MaREI Centre (Marine Renewable Energy Ireland) and the LIR National Ocean Test Facility.
Speaking at the official opening, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. said, “Marine research and development is a part of this government’s plan to rebuild a sustainable enterprise based economy. Our seas will increasingly support more jobs, enterprise and research. The UCC Beaufort Building, while firmly rooted on dry land, is a vessel of scientific discovery for our seas.
“Its world class facilities will attract world class researchers and new entrepreneurial endeavors in the maritime and energy sectors. The spirit of collaboration between academia, private enterprise and the Irish Naval Service in Irish maritime research is a model for public – private partnerships not only in Ireland, but globally."
Led by Professsor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of MaREI, the center will cater for 135 researchers, industry partners and support staff, dedicated to solving the challenges related to marine renewable energy, the multi-disciplinary center has already secured €30 million ($33 million) in funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and contracts with industry partners comprising of multinationals and SMEs.
The wave tanks in the Beaufort Building are capable of producing actual waves of up to 1.2 meters high, which are equivalent to the 30m+ waves experienced in extreme conditions off the west coast of Ireland and in the Atlantic.
Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision