Energy Minister Greg Barker is to give the keynote address at the official launch of the BRE National Solar Centre in Cornwall later this month.
Backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Cornwall Council, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and industry, the centre at Carclaze, near St Austell, will be tasked with driving forward solar power.
BRE – formerly the Building Research Establishment – will specifically support the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry.
The solar centre's aims include optimising the long-term performance of PV technologies, and creating best-quality assurance, design advice, product knowledge and technical standards.
It also wants to develop training and educational programmes for designers and installers, and create a hub of solar expertise that will enable the sector to perform to its highest potential.
The St Austell site was chosen for the centre because the majority of the UK's solar PV installations – more than 55,000 – are focused in the South West.
Mr Barker is among those due to speak at the launch of the new solar centre, which has its offices at the St Austell Business Park, Carclaze, on April 25.