EMEC looks back at tidal & wave testing endeavors

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has summarized tidal and wave energy activities undertaken at the Orkney-based testing center throughout the year behind us.

Throughout 2017, EMEC said it welcomed six developers for testing – reaching a total of 19 wave and tidal energy clients, with 30 marine energy devices to have trialed their technologies at the center since its establishment in 2003.

EMEC welcomed back the Finnish wave energy company Wello, who initially tested at EMEC in 2012.

Wello’s Penguin wave energy converter (WEC) was installed by Orcadian contractor Green Marine in March as part of the EU Horizon 2020 funded CEFOW project.

The Penguin has remained on site since March, surviving numerous storms including wave heights of up to 18.7 m experienced during recent storm Caroline.

As part of CEFOW, Plymouth and Exeter universities completed the first set of ecological surveys, which will be repeated over the following two summers to monitor the cumulative impact of multiple WECs on the seabed habitat and associated ecosystem.

Scotrenewables Tidal Power also had a busy year since the deployment of its 2MW floating tidal turbine, the SR1-2000, back in October 2016. The device, deployed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness grid-connected tidal testing site, made a number achievements during the year, and is entering 2018 having generated more than 1.3GW of clean energy so far.

Glasgow-based tidal developer Nautricity also returned to EMEC this year, after the initial testing at Shapinsay Sound in 2014. Its contra-rotating CoRMaT tidal turbine was deployed in April and is now in the process of being decommissioned.

CoRMaT tidal turbine (Photo: Nautricity)

Tocardo Tidal Power, a Dutch-based tidal energy developer, installed its T2 tidal turbine in February as part of FORESEA program at Fall of Warness site, in preparation for the deployment and testing of their Universal Foundation System (UFS).

Said to be the world’s first turn-key floating tidal power plant solution, the UFS is being developed under the InToTidal project and will incorporate five T2 turbines. Having remained on site since February, the T2 turbine was successfully removed from site in December 2017, shifting focus onto the development of the UFS.

An Aberdeen-based engineering company from the oil & gas sector, EC-OG, also tested at EMEC this year. The first full-scale sea trial of the company’s Subsea Power Hub (SPH) system ran from April to November this year at EMEC’s scale tidal test site in Shapinsay Sound.

CorPower C3 wave energy converter (Photo: CorPower Ocean)

Swedish wave energy player CorPower is preparing for the next year’s deployment of its wave energy device at EMEC’s scale test site in Scapa Flow. Last week, the company completed the foundation installation and the delivery of its C3 wave energy converter to Scotland.

Worth noting is another world’s first achieved at EMEC in 2017 – the production of hydrogen gas using electricity generated from tidal energy as part of the Surf’n’Turf project.

The ramifications of this milestone are said to be enormous: the hydrogen is carbon neutral (as it has been generated by renewables and emits no CO2), and can be used for transport, heating, agriculture, and even turned back into electricity.

Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC, said: “None of this happened by accident.

“All of this is the result of years of work by countless people, each doggedly ‘doing their bit’ to make sustainable energy a reality. This year we, the ones closest to the action, saw real progress being made. And I have seen signs this year that those further away are beginning to turn to look Orkney’s way and ask “How are they doing all this?”

“After so many years of hard work I believe 2018 will be the year that several of the jigsaw pieces we hold are finally seen to fit together. If we want it, then this year can be the one when sustainability is locked into policy and we really begin to deliver change.”

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