Photo: MEECE’s marine scientific buoy deployed in Wales (Courtesy of ORE Catapult)

Scientific marine buoy makes a splash at Marine Energy Test Area in Wales

Launched by Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE), the marine buoy will undergo sea trials to test the equipment aimed at accelerating the development of marine renewables in Wales.

MEECE’s marine scientific buoy deployed in Wales (Courtesy of ORE Catapult)
MEECE’s marine scientific buoy deployed in Wales (Courtesy of ORE Catapult)

As the first innovative demonstration asset to be launched in Wales ORE Catapult’s MEECE, the marine test buoy will now undertake sea trials to test equipment aimed at decarbonizing the shipping industry and overcoming engineering challenges of floating offshore wind technology.

More broadly, the buoy will provide a test and demonstration facility for companies and researchers within the Marine Energy Test Area (META) in Pembrokeshire, allowing innovative new products and services to be developed at minimal cost and risk.

The deployment is said to represent a key milestone for ORE Catapult’s activities in Wales, allowing MEECE to enhance their offering to the Welsh marine and offshore renewable energy sectors.

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Saul Young, META operations manager, who oversaw the marine buoy deployment, said: “This a great achievement for our local ORE Catapult and testimony to the strong relationship we have built with the MEECE project. This partnership allows META clients to easily tap into the expertise on offer. 

“The data collected from the buoy will validate several technologies, accelerating the development of marine renewables in Wales.”

MEECE is working to put Wales and Welsh companies at the heart of the UK’s growing marine and offshore renewable energy sectors, ensuring they play a vital role in tackling global climate change and decarbonizing UK’s energy needs, as well as grasping the huge economic opportunities on offer from the growth of the offshore renewables sector.

The buoy features Nanodeck solar storage panels from Welsh company Grafmarine, along with a live stream data logger from META’s SELKIE project partner.

Current data sources include GPS, Load Cells, NMEA connected instruments and interfacing with the buoy’s Victron power management system.

META also noted the contribution of local supply chain companies – Mainstay Marine Solutions and Williams Shipping – which helped build and launch the device.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Swansea Bay City Deal, MEECE works alongside META, the Port of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone, local universities, and the local supply chain to support innovative companies in Wales develop new products, processes and services for the offshore renewable energy sector.

With the buoy now deployed, and projects lined up for testing, ORE Catapult is calling for innovative companies in Wales with ground-breaking concepts to come and work with the MEECE team to help commercialize their technologies.

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