Hydropower, Storage

Marine Hydrokinetics

Issue 4 and Volume 22.

Nautricity deploys tidal turbine at Scotland’s EMEC

Tidal energy developer Nautricity has deployed the first of its Contra Rotating Marine Turbine (CoRMaT) units at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland, moving the technology one step closer toward commercial viability.

The units use two contra-rotating rotors to drive an electrical generator, the Glasgow-based company said, effectively doubling the relative rotational speed compared with single-rotor turbines.

The CoRMaT units will be tethered to Nautricity’s HydroBuoy mooring system, which was developed using a US$421 million Smart Scotland grant from Scottish Enterprises. The buoy is shaped like an aircraft wing and allows the units to steady in strong currents, the company says.

The unit deployed at EMEC is significantly larger than previous test models, Nautricity said, and has a rotor diameter of about 10 m.

Good Energy invests in Wales’ Swansea Bay tidal energy project

Renewable power provider Good Energy announces it has taken an equity stake in the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project, marking the company’s first foray into tidal energy.

The investment secures an option for Good Energy to purchase 10% of the project’s annual power output from its operator, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay PLC.

Plans for the 320 MW tidal energy project were accepted for consideration in March by the UK’s Planning Inspectorate.

The project will include a 9.5 km-long sea wall that will be dotted with hydro turbines along its length. Rising and falling tides will provide the kinetic motion needed for energy production. It will be located in Swansea Bay, South Wales.

RusHydro, Atlantis ink deal for Australian tidal development

Russian energy producer RusHydro and tidal energy developer Atlantis Operations Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in developing joint tidal projects in Australia.

Per the agreement, Atlantis and RusHydro, via its wholly-owned subsidiary JSC Lenhydroproject, will identify and conduct feasibility studies on prospective tidal power locations in Western Australia.

The company has been reportedly been working on its orthogonal turbine for several years and feels confident that it is ready for commercial use.

The tidal power capacity along Western Australia’s coastline exceeds 6.1 kW/m2, which, RusHydro said, “is substantially higher than in many other tidal power projects implemented worldwide.”

Atlantis will submit an application to fund the project to Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation later this year.

Orion Energy Centre completes first commercial project

Orion Energy Centre (OEC) in Scotland has completed a project for one of its first commercial customers, Boston, Mass., USA-based Resolute Marine Energy Inc.

OEC’s facilities and expertise will be used to carry out scale model wave tank testing on Resolute Marine Energy’s new “submerged flap wave energy converter” – a device that has been designed to operate in “near shore waves” as opposed to in the deep sea. Motion, load and pressure measurement tests will be carried out in the “extreme sea” states that can be simulated by the wave tank.

OEC’s wave test facilities were acquired from Voith Hydro in 2013. OEC, part of the international recruitment agency Orion Group, has launched services in Inverness.

Organizations teaming up for marine energy research in France

Officials from West Normandy Marine Energy and the Regional Mission for Innovation have signed an agreement that establishes a new marine hydrokinetics research network in France’s Basse-Normandie region.

Called the MRE Research and Innovation Network, the group unites 21 organizations with the goal of building relationships between industry decision-makers, enterprises and laboratories to encourage collaboration in advancing marine renewable energy.

The network will focus on 10 topics based on four main fields of expertise, WNME said, including installations and environmental impact; materials; energy production and storage; and MHK acceptance.

Officials from Basse-Normandie and Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre met in October 2013 in anticipation of development at the Raz Blanchard and Brittany MHK test beds.

Race Tidal announces 300 MW ocean power array near Alderney

OpenHydro and Alderney Renewable Energy have signed a joint venture that will see the companies develop a 300 MW tidal energy array off the coast of Alderney in the English Channel.

The joint venture company, named Race Tidal Ltd., was announced during the Thetis Marine Renewable Energy conference in Cherbourg, France.

ARE secured a 65-year license from the States of Alderney, permitting it to develop marine energy projects in Alderney’s waters after the pair announced its intentions to develop a project in March 2007.

The companies said they will now work with the States of Alderney, Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy, local communities and other stakeholders to complete the required surveys and environmental impact assessments before making a full application for consent.

If approved, the Alderney array could eventually include 150 2 MW generating units manufactured by OpenHydro in Cherbourg.