The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has launched a sonar research project in its Orkney waters that could help marine developers operate their devices without harming marine wildlife.
Working with the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews, EMEC is working to develop underwater acoustics systems to assess how marine mammals and diving birds might interact with wave and tidal renewable devices.
The partnership, which began its work in Orkney waters this April, will also detect and monitor the mammals and birds to identify where marine renewables could be deployed without causing harm to wildlife.
SMRU Ltd, which is a limited company owned by the University of St Andrews, claims the study could address key planning and environmental concerns encountered by marine developers.
Douglas Mundie, managing director at SMRU Ltd, said: "This is an exciting first step in what we expect will be a long and productive partnership. It is also an excellent demonstration of government, academic and private sectors working together to expand the use of marine renewables."