Marine energy project research and development continues in Europe

Similar to January, February is seeing several marine energy researches and development companies throughout the world move forward with their respective projects after receiving funding support.

Australian Marine & Offshore Group
Australian Marine & Offshore Group (AMOG), based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, has received a grant from the European Union Regional Development Fund to test a 1:3 scale model of the company’s floating pendulum wave energy converter (WEC) at FaBTest in Cornwall, England.

AMOG made the announcement on Feb. 5, but did not disclose the grant amount.

According to AMOG, the device is a 25-meter floating vessel that has a damped pendulum, the latter based on the principles of dynamic vibration absorbers (also known as tuned mass dampers). The AMOG WEC system is tuned to maximize power from incoming waves, extracting energy from the pendulum damping via electromotive force.

FaBTest is a pre-consented, 2.8 km2 test area within Falmouth Harbor in Falmouth Bay.

Operational site support and monitoring is administered by the Renewable Energy Group from the University of Exeter.

In October 2017, reported the government of Western Australia officially announced it awarded more than US$19 million in grants to develop marine energy technology via the Albany Wave Energy Project located at the southern tip of Western Australia.

According to WA, it awarded Carnegie Clean Energy Ltd. a $15.75 million grant for use toward installing a WEC device that is capable of producing about 1 MW of electrical power for export in to the South West Interconnected System.

Funding Ocean Energy through Strategic European Action (FORESEA) announced it approved funding for six marine energy projects on Jan. 31.

FORESEA’s user selection board awarded a recommendation for support to demonstration projects led by the following technology developers:

  • Sea Power; 
  • Bluwind Power; 
  • Marine Power Systems; 
  • Blue Ocean Monitoring; 
  • UGen; and 
  • Calwave.

A final award of support is secured by the developer upon contract with the test center.

FORESEA is a European Union-funded US$13.6 million Interreg Northwest Europe project that covers the following test centers:

  • European Marine Energy Centre – Orkney Islands, UK; 
  • SmartBay – Galway, Ireland; 
  • SEM-REV – Nantes, France; and 
  • Dutch Marine Energy Centre – Alkmaar, Netherlands.

In December, Irish Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Damien English, granted of a foreshore license to the SmartBay test site.

Last October, reported the six developers were selected by FORESEA to deploy their technologies at SmartBay, which is Ireland’s national marine and renewable energy test and demonstration facility.

John Breslin, SmartBay general manager, said, “[The] announcement marks the beginning of a new phase for the development of sustainable low carbon technologies in Ireland, with a significant increase in the planned testing of a range of promising devices in the SmartBay Test Site.”

The gravity base structure constructed at Birkenhead Docks in Liverpool, England, for Minesto’s commercial-scale 500-kW Deep Green project (DG500) is completed and ready for delivery to the project site at Holyhead Deep in Wales.

The structure, built by Jones Brothers Civil Engineering UK, was floated from its dry dock on the River Mersey on Jan. 31.

Offshore installation of the DG500 device and surrounding test setup infrastructure is expected to commence in April, according to a Feb. 1 statement from Minesto, with system functionality and capacity tests to be conducted in the second quarter.

“Our ambition is to generate electricity during the third quarter this year,” said Martin Edlund, Minesto chief executive officer. “This is a key milestone in the overall development of the Deep Green technology and the results will enable us to take important steps towards commercialization of our Utility Scale product line, together with customers, project financiers and funding partner.”

Based in Sweden, the company already holds a lease agreement for a 10 MW installation at the site, but announced in Februrary 2017 it intends to scale it up to 80 MW.

Minesto has spent the past few years performing quarter-scale tests of its DG500 generating units off the coast of Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough while simultaneously working to launch the Holyhead Deep site.

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