New fund to develop offshore wind turbine foundations
Scottish ministers have announced a £15m fund to help develop prototype foundations for deep-water wind turbines.
The Scottish Innovative Foundation Technologies Fund will cover turbines sited in water depths of greater than 30m.
The cash was announced by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
Environmental body WWF Scotland described it as a "fantastic vote of confidence" in offshore power.
Mr Ewing said the funding would help maintain Scotland's position as one of the world's most attractive destinations for renewable energy investment, development and deployment.
"It will help lower costs in developing the foundations needed for wind turbines in deeper water and more varied seabed conditions - currently the second largest cost associated with this type of project," he said.
"It should also benefit Scottish companies through the supply chain, securing jobs and boosting our economic recovery."
'Vote of confidence'
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the offshore wind power industry by Scottish ministers, and comes hot on the heals of the go-ahead for a test facility off the coast of Aberdeenshire.
"Scotland has an estimated quarter of Europe's total offshore wind and tidal resource.
"To be fully able to tap into that potential we need to develop ways to operate offshore, especially in deeper waters, and this government support will help to do this."
Last month Highland councillors backed plans to build the world's largest offshore wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth.
Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd wants to construct up to 339 turbines across three offshore wind farms located 22km (13.5 miles) from the Caithness coast.
The consortium claims the £4.5bn project could supply up to one million households.