The OE35 wave energy device (Courtesy of OceanEnergy)

Irish company books EMEC’s wave energy test berth

Irish wave energy developer OceanEnergy has signed up to demonstrate its OE35 floating wave energy converter at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.

The OE35 wave energy device (Courtesy of OceanEnergy)
The OE35 wave energy device (Courtesy of OceanEnergy)
The OE35 wave energy device (Courtesy of OceanEnergy)

OceanEnergy plans to demonstrate the OE35 over two winter periods from 2024 at EMEC’s Billia Croo wave energy test site off the west coast of Orkney, Scotland.

EMEC will support OceanEnergy with environmental monitoring by performing a series of field campaigns. These will include underwater and airborne acoustics, biophysical assessment of wave dynamics, fish aggregation and seabird analysis to assess the potential interactions between local species and the operation of the technology.

As an accredited test facility, EMEC will undertake technical inspection and performance assessment to confirm that the OE35 and moorings satisfies reliability, survivability and performance targets and adhere to IEC international standards.

Tony Lewis, chief technical officer at OceanEnergy, said: “The signing of the berth agreement with EMEC is an important milestone in this exciting project. We have been working closely with EMEC and the other project partners to reach this key stage. The project is a continuation of the commercialization of the technology which will become a key component in the suite of renewable energies to develop a sustainable green energy future.

“The demonstration will provide key metrics and operational experience for the commercial deployment of the OE technology.”

Carly Tait, project manager at EMEC for WEDUSEA, added: “We’re working closely with the OceanEnergy team on the design for the OE35 device, in preparation for their demonstration program at EMEC. We have provided met-ocean, bathymetry and geophysical data to feed into the design criteria and are facilitating planning of offshore operations.

“During the demonstration of the OE35, EMEC will collect valuable data on the performance of the device. This data will provide OceanEnergy with third party assurance on the power performance of the device, which will be shared with investors and funders to increase their confidence in the technology and enable progression towards commercialization.

“Environmental data will also be captured, building on existing environmental studies, to provide regulators with improved understanding and reduced uncertainty around environmental impacts of wave energy.”

The 1MW OE35 wave energy converter floats on the ocean’s surface, with the lower part of the machine open to the sea. Waves cause a water column within the device to rise and fall, creating pressurized air to rotate a turbine. This generates electricity which will be fed into the UK grid via EMEC’s subsea cable and onshore substation.

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The OE35 incorporates well-proven ship-building techniques and has only one moving part which is above sea level, increasing survivability, reliability and availability.

The demonstration is supported by the WEDUSEA project, co-funded by the EU Horizon Europe Program and Innovate UK.

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