Marine Hydrokinetics

Issue 4 and Volume 33.

Lockheed Martin begins work on AR1500 tidal energy turbines

Lockheed Martin has commenced work on a contract with tidal energy developer Atlantis Resources Ltd. under which the security and aerospace company will provide optimization services for Atlantis’ AR1500 turbine.

The 1.5-MW units feature a large single-rotor turbine and will have active rotor pitch and full nacelle yaw rotation. The units will be installed at the MeyGen project in Canada’s Bay of Fundy and Scotland’s Pentland Firth.

Atlantis acquired the 398-MW MeyGen array in November 2013 after previously holding a 10% interest in its developer, MeyGen Ltd. Atlantis was then awarded a US$10.55 million grant from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development in February – part of which was earmarked for funding Lockheed Martin’s detailed design of the AR1500.

Companies to develop 2-MW tidal turbine; tidal arrays for FORCE

Siemens AG subsidiary Marine Current Turbines Ltd. and Bluewater Energy Services B.V. have agreed to develop a 2-MW tidal turbine that will be installed in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.

Siemens, which bought the majority interest of MCT in 2012, said the floating tidal current turbines will be the first of their type deployed in the bay. The units, called “SeaGen F,” will be installed by Canadian developer Minas Energy, which also holds the lease at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) where the units will be installed.

Meanwhile, Bluewater will provide experience in designing, manufacturing and installing floating platforms and subsea moorings.

Also in the Bay of Fundy, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy has selected a pair of marine and hydrokinetic technology developers to deploy arrays at the FORCE test site. The announcement, which came alongside provincial approval of US$3.6 million in tidal industry funding at FORCE, allows OpenHydro and Black Rock Tidal Power to participate in research and development efforts in the bay’s Minas Passage. OpenHydro said it is to deliver a pair of 2-MW commercial-scale turbines to the FORCE site in 2015, similar to ones the company has already deployed off the coast of France.

Cable operator objects to FERC license for Admiralty Inlet project

Pacific Crossing, owner of the PC-1 subsea telecommunications cable linking the U.S. and Japan, is objecting to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of a pilot project license for the 600-kW Admiralty Inlet Pilot tidal project, to be installed near PC-1 in Washington’s Puget Sound.

FERC issued the hydrokinetic pilot project license on March 20, concluding the project would not pose a risk to the undersea fiber-optic communication cable, which is 170 meters from the project site.

“It is disappointing that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a pilot license for an experimental tidal energy project in Admiralty Inlet despite objections from Native Americans, environmentalists and Pacific Crossing,” the company’s chief financial officer, Kurt Johnson, said. “FERC’s license approves the placement of two 425-ton turbines dangerously close to PC-1, a major international telecommunications cable, and poses a serious threat to PC-1.”

Johnson said Pacific Crossing is reviewing the FERC order and considering its options. As a party to the case, the company could ask FERC for an order on rehearing.

“FERC made an ill-advised decision to move forward on this project ignoring both available submarine cable separation guidance and ongoing Federal Communications Commission advisory committee work on standardized cable separation in favor of an arbitrary separation approach,” Johnson said.

FERC’s licensing order spends 15 pages addressing Pacific Crossing’s objections. FERC said the license includes safeguards and monitoring that should adequately protect the PC-1 cable as well as fish and wildlife that are a concern of Indian tribes.The FERC order notes FCC submitted a letter to FERC in 2012 saying it does not oppose licensing of Admiralty Inlet at a minimum separation from PC-1 of 170 meters as long as FERC determines the project does not present material risk to PC-1 and FERC is able to ensure that licensee Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 adheres to safety and separation requirements.

Snohomish County PUD filed an application in 2012 for Admiralty Inlet to be developed in Kitsap County, Wash. The PUD plans to deploy, operate, monitor, and evaluate two 10-meter-diameter Open-Centre Turbines, developed and manufactured by OpenHydro Group Ltd.