New facility will be in Cumbernauld
A £12.5 million research centre for smart power technology is opening in Scotland.
The Power Network Demonstration Centre will investigate areas including advanced power grids, electric cars and domestic appliances.
The initiative is being led by the University of Strathclyde, ScottishPower and Scottish and Southern Energy.
Additional support is coming from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.
Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: "The Power Network Demonstration Centre will support the development and accelerated deployment of new electrical power distribution technologies, helping the UK's energy and engineering industries compete on the world stage.
"Scotland is ideally placed to develop the next generation of smart, electrical technologies that will reduce carbon emissions from the energy sector, improve energy efficiency and ensure we maintain a secure supply of power.
"But it is critical that we remove the technical - and economic - barriers to connecting these technologies to our existing infrastructure. The new Centre will do just that, and set new standards in electrical distribution."
The centre is being built in Cumbernauld and is scheduled to open at the end of this year.
Around 25 staff will be based there.
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: "The Power Network Demonstration Centre will be a valuable addition to Scotland's business infrastructure, helping bring together academia and industry to boost productivity and enhance competitiveness through innovation and the commercialisation of new electrical technologies.
"With increasing demand worldwide to boost reliability and effectiveness of renewable energy and carbon reducing technology, the centre will provide a much needed testing ground to facilitate faster development and adoption of technologies and maintain Scotlands position as leader in renewable energy and innovative low carbon technologies."
Jim Sutherland, network development director at ScottishPower, said: "The Demonstration Centre is an innovative concept that will produce some of the most advanced carbon reducing technologies anywhere in the world.
"ScottishPower is committed to making our electricity network as modern and efficient as possible. By bringing together the academic world with industry, the new centre will push forward developments that will facilitate the integration of low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and renewable generation, and help to create the electricity infrastructure suitable for the needs of the future."
Alan Broadbent, head of engineering at Scottish and Southern energy power distribution, said: "The opening of this new centre represents a huge opportunity for Scotland and the UK to speed up the decarbonisation of the grid.
"We are committed to testing and deploying new technologies that facilitate this and the centre will provide an environment to trial these more quickly and effectively.
By better understanding the impact of both small and larger scale distributed generation on our networks we should be able to allow larger volumes to connect without further works.
"The centre has been designed to not only facilitate this but also allow trials of new customer side technologies that offer exciting opportunities within business and the home."