PLAT-I en route to Canada

Sustainable Marine Energy’s PLAT-I tidal energy platform is currently sailing across the Atlantic towards Canada where it will be deployed in the area boasting the world’s most extreme tides – the Bay of Fundy.

PLAT-I tidal energy platform (Photo: Sustainable Marine Energy)

The disassembled platform, which has been broken down into road-transportable modules, left the Port of Liverpool on the Atlantic Sky container ship bound for Province of Nova Scotia.

Though designed for more sheltered and slightly more benign sites in terms of wave climate – corresponding to the I in the platform’s name which stands for Inshore – PLAT-I will soon start harnessing the tides of the Grand Passage, said to be stronger than those successfully tackled by the device earlier this year in the Scottish Connel Sound.

The testing period in Grand Passage is expected to last for at least three months, according to Sustainable Marine Energy (SME), which has teamed up with Black Rock Tidal Power (BRTP) – a Schottel Hydro company – to apply to the Nova Scotia Department of Energy for permission to install the platform for its the second phase of testing.

A non-profit Nova Scotia-based company Sustainable Oceans Applied Research (SOAR) has also been engaged to assist BRTP and its partners in site characterization, permitting and stakeholder engagement for the project.

Schottel Hydro’s SIT 250 turbine (Photo: Sustainable Marine Energy)

The second PLAT-I testing phase will be concentrated on proving performance of the tidal platform, while also conducting environmental monitoring with the aim of assessing interactions of marine life with the device.

The results of the second phase of testing will provide regulators with more information to evaluate future tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy, SME said earlier.

The trimaran design for the platform, which hosts four Schottel Hydro’s SIT 250 turbines, was used to provide low resistance and enhanced stability, according to SME. Each of the four turbines is rated at 70kW, bring the total rated capacity of the PLAT-I to 280kW.