New Hydro

Sea tests begin for unit at Paimpol-Brehat tidal

Electricite de France and Irish tidal power developer OpenHydro Group Ltd. have started sea testing for the first unit of the 8 MW Paimpol-Brehat tidal project, on France’s northern Brittany coast.

A 2 MW turbine manufactured by OpenHydro is operating in the ocean off France’s northern Brittany coast as part of the planned 8 MW Paimpol-Brehat tidal project.

The first 2 MW OpenHydro unit was towed from the harbor at Brest in late August for deployment in 35 meters of water off the island of Brehat near Paimpol. EDF initiated the project in 2004, with work beginning in 2008.

OpenHydro partner DCNS, a builder of naval vessels and shipyard infrastructure, assembled the turbine and subsea base at its Brest yard. The installation work uses a custom-designed barge, OpenHydro Triskell, built by STX (Lorient).

The 850 ton turbine and base were tested for two months, to prepare for installation in 2012 of the project, with a budget of €40 million (US$56 million).

RWE drops Siadar wave project in Scotland

German power utility RWE has pulled out of a wave energy project in Scotland it was developing jointly with Voith Hydro-owned wave energy firm Wavegen.

Wavegen, the builder of the planned 4 MW Siadar Wave Energy Project off the Isle of Lewis, issued a statement indicating RWE had exited the project. Saying RWE’s npower renewables subsidiary won’t be proceeding with the project, Wavegen Chief Executive Officer Matthew Seed stated that the company is “in discussion with a number of parties in order to seek an owner and investor” and that civil engineering work remains “ongoing.” Wavegen has been seeking to construct the $50 million plant off the Hebrides coast for three years.

“RWE Innogy, although no longer proceeding with the Siadar project, continues to work closely together with Voith and will focus upon marine tidal current technology,” said RWE npower renewables in a written statement.

OceanMill to install Wave Rotors in Netherlands

OceanMill and its consortium partners are working on a project to install a facility for 1.5 MW of clean tidal power in one of the openings of the Oosterschelde Storm Surge Barrier.

Oosterschelde is an estuary in Zeeland, Netherlands, built in 1986 to protect this part of the Netherlands from flooding. The structure features a 4 km-long section with sluice-gate-type doors that can be closed under adverse weather conditions.

This location features daily currents up to 5.5 meters/sec and has available grid access. The project will consist of three 500 kW Wave Rotors

The permitting and licensing process is complete, and the project engineering phase has started. The planned installation window is around the end of the third quarter of 2012. The project is planned to run for 15 years to prove the long-term durability of the technology. In addition, OceanMill seeks to demonstrate production performance and efficiency and eliminate technical risks for projects using the Wave Rotor.

The consortium partners are from the civil and oil and gas industries. The scope of the consortium is broken into four parts: Wave Rotor, power takeoff modules, support structure, and controls and electrical and instrumentation infrastructure.

In March 2011, OceanMill signed an exclusive global license with Ecofys regarding the whole of the Wave Rotor technology and projects at hand. Ecofys developed this technology, which is capable of harvesting tidal and wave power. The Wave Rotor consists of a vertical-axis dual turbine (containing both slanted and horizontal blades). The vertical and horizontal motions of ocean waves generate lift over the blades. This lift turns the rotor, which is attached to a generator via a gearbox. The rotor is the only moving part in the water; all other parts are about 10 meters above the water level.

Drive tested for converting ocean energy

BioPower Systems in Sydney, Australia, has developed and tested an O-Drive power conversion module for wave and tidal energy systems, such as its bioWAVE and bioSTREAM technology.

O-Drive is a 250 kW module driven in an oscillating fashion to convert ocean energy into grid-ready AC power. This drive combines a hydraulic circuit, an electric generator and control algorithms to convert the characteristically large forces and slow motions inherent to ocean waves into a steady flow of electricity, says Dr. Timothy Finnigan, chief executive officer of BioPower Systems. It is designed to be detached from a moored ocean energy system to provide easy and cost-effective maintenance.

Testing was performed using a rig built to reproduce ocean forces.

BioPower Systems plans to use the O-Drive module in a bioWAVE pilot demonstration off the coast of Victoria, Australia. Eventually, the company intends to produce a 1 MW commercial version of bioWAVE, which would use four O-Drive modules.

A bioWAVE unit consists of vertically mounted buoyant blades that interact with the oscillating flow field and can orient themselves to the prevailing wave direction. To avoid damage in extreme conditions, the unit ceases operation and assumes a streamlined position lying flat on the ocean floor.

BioSTREAM is a sub-surface system that harnesses the kinetic energy in tidal streams and marine currents. It uses an oscillating hydrofoil modeled on thunniform-mode swimmers (such as shark and tuna), which are the most efficient swimming species in the ocean. The unit aligns with the flow in any direction and assumes a streamlined configuration to avoid excess load during extreme conditions.

Trip by HRH The Duke of York focuses on marine industry

HRH The Duke of York took a trip to Orkney, Scotland, on Sept. 6 to focus on the marine renewable energy industry. One particular focus of this trip was the finance gap facing the development of wave and tidal technologies.

The Duke chaired a discussion in Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney, with representatives from finance companies, technology developers, Pentland Firth project developers, as well as a number of government bodies.

He then visited the European Marine Energy Centre. EMEC Managing Director Neil Kermode accompanied His Royal Highness on visits to EMEC’s wave and tidal test sites. “Receiving a visit from the Duke of York shows the significance of what is happening here in Orkney, to local and international business and innovation,” Kermode says.

Marine renewables fit a number of key areas as part of the Duke’s role in supporting the business community, EMEC says. Particular areas of emphasis include stimulating science and engineering, developing high-tech and high-value manufacturing, encouraging and recognizing scientists and entrepreneurs who develop their innovations and discoveries in the UK, and promoting international business opportunities.

Scotland has 17 wave and tidal projects leased for development in its waters, not including the test facilities at EMEC. As of May 2011, EMEC had 11 projects either in the water or in fabrication at its test sites.


The board of directors of RusHydro has approved the decision to set up a subsidiary, the Innovative Center of Tidal and Wave Energy, to implement two tidal energy projects, news agencies report. The new center will develop the 12 MW Severnaya and 8,000 MW Mezenskaya tidal power plants. … Tata Steel of India has supplied an order for offshore-grade steel to Aquamarine Power’s next-generation Oyster device. The Oyster unit, which has a capacity of 800 kW, will be transported to Orkney, Scotland, for installation. For more on these projects, visit

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