New Ocean Energy Investment from Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is to provide financial support for two marine energy devices through its Marine Energy Accelerator scheme.

Technology firms Pelamis Wave Power and Marine Current Turbines will pursue projects focusing on installation and maintenance, which currently account for up to 50% of project costs for wave and tidal energy and could delay more widespread deployment if not reduced.

The Carbon Trust is providing £250,000 [US $375,000] for Pelamis Wave Power, which are investigating a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will assist with manoeuvring the company’s 180 metre long machines into position. They will also integrate remote control technology into existing systems which will enable deployment in rougher seas. These developments promise to significantly reduce vessel and equipment requirements and make installation and maintenance quicker, cheaper and safer, thereby reducing the overall cost of the energy generated.

Alongside work with Pelamis Wave Power, the Carbon Trust is providing a further £150,000 [US $225,000] for a feasibility study with Marine Current Turbines to develop an innovative way to deploy its SeaGen tidal energy system. The new method will involve a remotely operated subsea drilling platform which will install foundation piles in advance of the main turbine support structure being deployed in a single unit. This would enable smaller and less expensive support vessels to be used for the offshore works, reducing the costs of turbine installation.

The MCT technology is likely to be tested in a disused quarry, and if it performs as expected will be used in SeaGen’s next deployment off Anglesey where the company is working with RWE npower renewables to deploy a 10 MW tidal farm, using seven SeaGens.

Beth Dickens of Pelamis Wave Power said: “This project will allow more machines to be installed more often and more cheaply as we will not be as reliant on good weather conditions and specialist boats for the operation.”

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