The Albany Visitor Centre, located in Western Australia, will be the location of a new Wave Energy Research Centre.
The announcement comes after the State Government awarded $3.75 million (US $2.8 million) to The University of Western Australia to establish a marine energy research hub in Albany to drive offshore research and innovation.
Premier Mark McGowan said the Centre will help UWA to realise its ambition for the world-class facility to be a focal point for wave energy research, attracting local and international scientists to the region.
“I am proud that Western Australia is leading the charge to be a world-leader in the development of renewable energy technology, which will see Albany become a global centre for expertise and innovation,” the Premier said.
“This centre demonstrates my Government’s commitment to investing in the State’s scientific capacity.”
“Albany is the perfect location to examine wave technology, and the new Wave Energy Research Centre will provide a facility for scientists from across the world to gather a deeper understanding of wave and offshore energy.”
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Centre will be a fantastic addition to the growing Albany science and education precinct.
“Today marks another chapter in Albany’s proud history of leading renewable energy production and a step forward on our endeavour to see WA move from a technology taker to a technology maker,” he concluded.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said the University was pleased to play a key role in the project and work with government and industry leaders to expand WA’s knowledge of renewable wave energy.
“With our abundance of wave, wind and solar energy, Western Australia is ideally positioned to be at the forefront of renewable energy research and technology,” Professor Freshwater said.
“The Wave Energy Research Centre will undertake world-class research to support the growth of the entire marine renewable energy sector.
“Research will be undertaken across a range of areas including offshore engineering, oceanography, marine biology, marine planning and management with potential impact on marine policy and law, commerce and economics.”
The Wave Energy Research Centre will become ingrained in the Great Southern community and continue to work closely with UWA’s Oceans Institute and industry partners to support the development of a wave energy industry in Albany and across WA.
“The University is already a global leader in offshore engineering with world-class geotechnical and hydrodynamic laboratory facilities at the Crawley campus,” Professor Freshwater said. “By connecting these facilities to our Albany campus, we will be well placed to expand into a variety of marine research programs and to coordinate innovative research.”
State Government funding for the centre will be provided over four years and bring together more than 30 researchers from UWA.