Plans to test a full size floating wind turbine off the west coast have been given a boost, with the announcement that €31 million in EU funding has been approved for the project.

A multi agency consortium is involved in planning the offshore test site, which will be located off the north Mayo coast.

It's envisaged that a floating wind turbine will be deployed near Belmullet by 2022, with the aim of demonstrating the potential for this kind of technology.

Researchers are hoping that they can show the durability of such turbines in testing marine environments, as well as proving the cost benefits of such projects.

Companies and agencies from Ireland, Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands are involved.

The Sustainable Energy Authority says €31 million in Interreg EU funding is the first step in delivering the project.