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Ireland Links Marine Test Site

27 June 2015
Work has been completed on a 4km subsea cable connecting the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site to the shore at Spiddal in the west of Ireland. Research vessel Celtic Explorer (pictured) handled the work on the line, which is equipped with sensors and monitoring equipment. It will supply power to the test site and facilitate unlimited data transfer for researchers and developers who install tidal and wave test devices in the bay. Further environmental monitoring equipment will be installed on the cable end frame this summer, as well as a floating sea station. Marine minister Simon Coveney said the cable laying marked a major milestone in the development of Ireland’s ocean energy resource. "Ireland's sea area is around 10 times the size of our land area and with one of the best offshore renewable energy resources in the world the opportunities to harness the power of the ocean are immense," he said. "The new facilities at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test site will attract companies and researchers developing marine technology and renewable ocean energy equipment, and will position Ireland at the forefront of these emerging sectors by developing an expert indigenous supply chain that will expand as these sectors grow. “The ocean observatory will also enhance our ability to monitor the ocean and better understand how it works, which is critical to tackling issues such as climate change." Some €2.8m in funding for the project came from Science Foundation Ireland and Dublin’s marine department. The Galway Bay project is a collaboration between the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the Marine Institute, University College Cork and SmartBay Ireland.
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