Photo: Illustration/PLOCAN platform (Courtesy of PLOCAN)

PLOCAN takes the baton for MUSICA project

The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) has been confirmed as the new coordinator of the EU-backed MUSICA project that aims to develop a multi-use platform combining renewable energies, aquaculture, water desalination, energy storage and green support services.

Illustration/PLOCAN platform (Courtesy of PLOCAN)
Illustration/PLOCAN platform (Courtesy of PLOCAN)

The Multiple-use-of Space for Island Clean Autonomy (MUSICA) project’s solution is envisioned as a decarbonising one-stop shop for small islands, including their marine initiatives (blue growth) and ecosystems, achieved through MUSICA smart and replicable multi-use platform (MUP).

In assuming the new coordinator role, from SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine (MaREI), PLOCAN will be required to guide the projects through their respective periodic review processes to ensure they meet the requirements set out in the European Commission’s grant agreements.

This five-year project will receive approximately €9 million spread among 15 partners from seven countries of the European Union.

Some of the partners in the project include University College Cork, University of the Aegean, University of Malta, Innosea, NeoDyne, Aquabiotech, and German wave energy company SINN Power.

In addition to the new coordinator role, PLOCAN will also be leading the testing, monitoring, operation and maintenance of the multi-use platform on Oinousses islands in Greece. The centre will also contribute to the replicability plans and feasibility studies of the solution on Gran Canaria Island in Spain.

Ayoze Castro, head of the innovation unit at PLOCAN said: “We are immensely proud and excited to be taking on the role of coordinator for this important and ambitious project. MUSICA will represent one of the very first multipurpose offshore platforms in Europe.

We fully believe that MUSICA is the logical follow-on from previous MUP projects and is the best route to commercialisation of the MUP/ MUS concept, balancing operator and investor risk, and acceleration of progress”.

Multi-disciplinary approach to smart energy solution

MUSICA smart and replicable multi-use platform (MUP) concept (Courtesy of MUSICA Project)
MUSICA smart and replicable multi-use platform (MUP) concept (Courtesy of MUSICA Project)

The University of the Aegean and its spin-off EcoWindWater are responsible for the development and optimization of the design of the floating platform, which has previously been validated for two years.

The project also aims to cover the island’s water demand with the installation of desalination units on the platform, providing 1000 cubic metres of fresh water per day. For its part, the Irish engineering company NeoDyne is responsible for the design and installation of an energy management system (EMS) to integrate all renewable energy systems installed on the platform (wind, solar and wave energy).

University of Malta will provide an innovative hybrid energy storage facility on the multi-use platform for the island energy management combining electro-chemical batteries with hydro-pneumatic air storage (HPES) to store both electricity and pressurised water for desalination.

SINN Power will optimize and install its wave energy devices on the multi-use platform. The concept of multiple use of the space will be completed with the installation of an offshore aquaculture cage.

It will be the first offshore aquaculture project fully serviced by a floating multi-use platform. In this section, the partner Aquabiotech brings his experience and knowledge in the sector, according to project developers.

In addition, Gordon Dalton has taken up the post of coordinator for the project, bringing with him the expertise of past coordination of two previous Horizon 2020 projects.

Speaking on his new post, Dalton said: “I am very excited to take up the coordinator role for the MUSICA project, and I’m keen to maximize the exploitation opportunities for PLOCAN and the Canary Islands”.