Orkney’s supply chain gives lessons to wave developers

Illustration (Photo: EMEC)

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has released the findings from its project with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) that explored the wealth of knowledge and experience amassed in the Orkney supply chain from testing wave energy devices in real sea conditions.

Results from the project are expected to help wave energy converter (WEC) developers check their readiness for deploying in real sea conditions by taking open-water testing into consideration at an early stage in their design process, EMEC said.

The project produced a total of five reports, including four detailed guidance documents focusing on the topics of Compliance, Handling, Installation and Operations and Maintenance (O&M).

The importance of budgeting for regulatory issues, the need for appropriate lifting points on a device, and the ability to reduce forecasting uncertainties through a process of refining and improving marine operations are just some examples of the arising lessons-learnt, according to EMEC.

The documents, available on request from WES, draw on the expertise and learning gained through frontline experience within Orkney’s marine renewables supply chain.

Nine companies, including Aquatera, Bryan J Rendall Electrical, EMEC, Green Marine, Leask Marine, Orcades Marine, Scotmarine, Sula Diving and the Xodus Group, with over 500,000 hours of marine renewables operations experience between them, participated in a series of workshops to gather their collective knowledge, and generate the guidance documents as a reference point for developers.

The reports were reviewed by Offshore Subsea Consultancy Services to ensure operational accuracy, EMEC informed.

Tim Hurst, Managing Director of WES, said: “Information of this kind will be invaluable to WEC developers in the WES program. The study will help our program participants to make informed decisions at earlier stages of their device development. Ultimately, this will help avoid costly errors at the deployment stage.”

Elaine Buck, EMEC’s Technical Manager, added: “To date, EMEC’s test sites have played host to 19 developers and more than 100 wider research projects. Orkney’s supply chain companies have been instrumental in those activities, and we have drawn upon all that experience in this project.

“The input we’ve gathered is unprejudiced in drawing together both the positive and negative lessons learnt, and covers a depth of expertise captured within each of the participating companies.

“By cataloging some of this learning we hope the next developers on site can de-risk and accelerate their plans, as well as achieve cost reduction, armed with guidance based on hard-won experience.”

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