PLAT-I tidal platform generates first power

Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has informed its recently installed PLAT-I tidal energy platform started generating power at Connel Sound in Scotland.

The 280kW PLAT-I platform was installed on November 25, 2017, and within two days after the installation, the SME and Schottel Hydro teams completed the first phase of commissioning the system.

The work resulted in first power generation, and according to the developers, all four Schottel Instream Turbines (SITs) mounted on the platform reached their rated power of 70kW each, and proved their performance characteristics.

Also, SME said the platform demonstrated ‘excellent stability’ throughout a range of tide and weather conditions, operating autonomously through its platform control system during spring tides this December.

PLAT-I floating tidal platform (Photo: SME)

Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME, said: “It is a fantastic feeling to be able to offer the first affordable and viable tidal energy system for small to medium size projects of less than 10MW for remote coastal and island communities that are currently reliant on diesel generation.”

Commenting on the collaboration with SME on the development of the PLAT-I platform, Niels Lange, Managing Director of Schottel Hydro, said:

“This provides an economically and practically viable means of delivering SITs globally for tidal and river markets. This is the fully integrated system the tidal energy market needs. We see substantial market opportunities in South East Asia, Canada and elsewhere which we are looking forward to exploring together with SME.”

PLAT-I was fabricated in Scotland by JBS Group in Peterhead between July and October 2017. SME was supported by London Marine Consultants in aspects of the detailed design of the mooring turret and connection system.

The installation operation, including tow-out, was completed in under 5 hours using Green Marine’s multicat vessel Green Isle, as reported earlier.

The platform features the ability to lift the SITs out of the water for easier maintenance. It also reduces the depth of water required for launching and tow-out (Photo: SME)

After the conclusion of testing at Connel, PLAT-I will be disassembled and transported to South East Asia, where it will be delivered to Envirotek for redeployment as part of a grid connected first commercial demonstrator array project in the Philippines.

Envirotek is a Singapore-based clean-technology investment company with ambitions to develop clean energy projects in South East Asia.

SME, Schottel Hydro and ENVIROTEK have identified several high impact project opportunities in the region where tidal energy can displace existing diesel generation.