Water2Energy’s vertical axis tidal turbine in the Port of Flushing (Courtesy of ENCORE Project)

ENCORE project reaches conclusion with four offshore renewable technology demos under its belt

The Interreg 2 Seas-funded ENCORE project has reached its formal closure after three years, having ‘successfully propelled’ four innovative tidal energy, offshore solar and wave energy technology solutions.

Water2Energy’s vertical axis tidal turbine in the Port of Flushing (Courtesy of ENCORE Project)

The ENCORE project, led by Dutch-based company driving projects, innovations, and education in the sustainable blue economy Bluespring, has come to a close after connecting 12 partners across Europe to collaborate on developing offshore renewables solutions, setting new standards and creating a lasting impact in the sector through education.

Short for ‘Energising our Coasts with Offshore Renewable Energy’, the €8.5 million EU-backed project also received support from Dutch provinces Zeeland and Zuid-Holland to ‘push the boundaries of offshore renewable energy’.

Navigating through several challenges due to the global pandemic, the project managed to achieve its goals – all within time frame and budget – with some of the most significant highlights being the application of international standards developed under the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to reduce risks and validate the performance of four pilot projects.

The supported companies in the project included Water2Energy, and EEL Energy, with their tidal and river current technologies; Oceans of Energy with its floating solar solution; and Teamwork Technology with its wave energy device.

As part of the ENCORE project, Water2Energy installed a 100kW-rated ducted vertical axis tidal turbine in a sluice gate in the Port of Flushing, successfully delivering power to the grid.

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Symphony Wave Power conducted lab testing in Sines in Portugal of their submerged wave energy converter solution, and further completed the power take-off (PTO) assembly and testing in the Netherlands at the facilities of partner and investor Multimetaal in Den Helder.

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Oceans of Energy deployed a 200kW pilot off the coast of Scheveningen at the Offshore Test Site, with extensive environmental and performance monitoring, while EEL Energy built and tested a 30kW prototype of their undulating flap, off the coast of Brest in France.

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Aside from advancing river and tidal current, wave, and floating solar solutions, one of ENCORE project’s aims was to develop open-source tools and services to facilitate the accelerated uptake of offshore energy solutions for islands, harbors, estuaries and offshore structures with a focus on 2 Seas region, and additional export opportunities.

In that regard, Deftiq and Bluespring jointly developed eight E-learning courses, solidifying their commitment to knowledge dissemination. More than 500 users from 40 countries spent hundreds of hours on the education platform, achieving an impressive average score of 83%, the partners said.

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This educational initiative, a first of its kind on such a scale, contributes to building a new skilled workforce in the offshore renewable energy sector.

Commenting on the project, Peter Scheijgrond, CEO of Bluespring, said: “In conclusion, the ENCORE project is a testament to successful collaboration, technological innovation, and knowledge dissemination.

“Bluespring and its partners have advanced offshore renewable energy solutions and paved the way for a sustainable and resilient future in the marine energy sector. As we bid farewell to ENCORE, the echoes of its achievements will continue to resonate across borders and inspire future endeavors offshore, that’s for sure.”

The collaborative spirit fostered during ENCORE continues beyond the project’s closure. Bluespring has laid the groundwork for future projects in education, technology de-risking, and coloration between test facilities. The approved ERASMUS+ project FLORES marks the beginning of new applications and translations of ENCORE courses into Spanish, extending their reach to new audiences.

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