Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker officially opened the BRE National Solar Centre in St Austell today.
The new facility will become the centre for excellence and knowledge in the use of solar energy in the UK.
Working with local partners, including the Eden Project, Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust, Plymouth University, and Exeter University’s Tremough campus, the centre will provide a research-based, independent platform where stakeholders can share experience, data and developments for the benefit of the whole UK solar sector.
Speaking at the launch, Barker said: “The new National Solar Centre will play a fundamental role in driving forward the solar industry here in the UK.
“Not only will work carried out by the centre help to cut costs, improve efficiency and drive forward innovation in this sector, it will also help position the UK as a top destination for global investment in this exciting technology.
“The Coalition Government has finally put solar firmly on the map. Solar has a key part to play in our energy mix, and later this year we will be launching the UK’s first-ever Government solar strategy, to capitalise on growth so far and explore ways to take it even further. The centre couldn’t come at a better or more important time.”
Newly-appointed director of the BRE National Solar Centre, Barry Marsh, added: “I am pleased to be appointed at such a critical time in the industry, and look forward to working with our founding partners, industry stakeholders, and supporters.”
The BRE National Solar Centre has received significant funding from the Convergence European Regional Development Fund (£870k over two years), and support from Cornwall Council.