New Hydro

Carnegie deploys wave unit in Australia

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited of Perth, Australia, has deployed a commercial-size wave energy machine in the ocean off the Garden Island Naval Base south of Perth.

The company's 7 meter-wide unit was deployed and began producing power in April 2011.

This unit is based on Carnegie's CETO technology. A buoy uses the vertical motion of waves to drive a pump, which delivers pressurized water to an onshore turbine via a pipeline.

The unit has a capacity of 100 kW, and this installation is intended to demonstrate the technology, Carnegie says. The unit, which is not currently connected to the grid, was scheduled to operate for about eight weeks. After that time, the company would remove the unit.

Carnegie plans to make a decision about where to deploy its first full-scale demonstration plant, likely up to 20 units with a total capacity of 2 MW, over the next few months.

UK's Severn River open for private tidal power projects

The UK government has opened the Severn River for private tidal power projects. This river runs 220 miles (350 km) from central Wales to the sea between Wales and southwest England.

Recently, the government rejected a tidal project that could have supplied as much as 5% of the nation's power.

The UK government had been examining five options for tidal projects on the river, which it says has a 14 meter tidal range. Three of the proposals were for barrages spanning the river, and two were tidal lagoons.

Two marine energy centers sign research agreement

The European Marine Energy Centre and Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy are combining their research efforts to help advance the worldwide marine renewable energy industry.

Richard Morris, commercial director of EMEC, and John Woods, chair of FORCE, signed a strategic agreement at the All-Energy Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, in May. This agreement is intended to strengthen both organizations' capacity for research, including environmental assessment and monitoring, as well as tidal turbine and submarine cable deployment.

EMEC in Orkney, Scotland, has 11 projects either in the water or in fabrication at its test sites. The facilities were expanded in 2010, giving a total of five cabled berths at the wave site and seven at the tidal site. New facilities have also been created to allow developers to trial smaller scale marine energy device in less challenging sea conditions.

FORCE is in the Minas Passage area of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada, known to have the highest tides in the world. Current research suggests up to 2,500 MW of capacity may be safely extracted from the surrounding area — more than Nova Scotia's total electricity demand. FORCE is scheduled to host four tidal technologies in 2012.

New marine device from OPT begins ocean trials

Ocean Power Technologies Inc., a wave energy technology company based in Pennington, New Jersey, USA, has begun ocean trials of the first of its new generation PowerBuoy devices, the PB150, in Scotland.

The PB150 is the largest and most powerful wave device designed by OPT to date. With a peak rated power output of 150 kW, the PB150 is designed for use in arrays for grid-connected power generation projects worldwide, the company says. This 150-kW device was successfully deployed at sea on April 15, 2011, a statement from the company says.

The ocean trials are being conducted at a site about 33 nautical miles from Invergordon, off Scotland's northeast coast, and are expected to last up to three months. This device was built and assembled at Invergordon, and its development has utilized the skills of local firms and represents a multi-million pound sterling investment in the region, OPT says.

The ocean trials off Scotland have been fully consented by the Scottish Government. In addition, Marine Scotland, the directorate of the Scottish Government responsible for regulating marine and fisheries matters, consulted with many interested parties and stakeholder groups covering areas such as local wildlife, shipping, oil and gas, and fishing interests.

A second PB150 unit is under construction in the USA for an anticipated utility-scale project in Oregon, and the company is involved in other planned projects in North America, Australia, Japan and Europe that would utilize the PB150 technology.

Voith Hydro advances Seaturtle Tidal Park in Korea

The Seaturtle Tidal Park being developed in South Korea is a joint venture between Voith Hydro of Germany and Renetec of Korea.

A 110-kW turbine was installed in 2010, and construction of the park began at the end of that year. When all units are installed, the tidal park, off the coast of Jeollanamdo Province, will have a rated power capacity of 150 MW.

The technology is to consist of units mounted on bridge-like structures, with three 1 MW windmill-like units per structure.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding with Posco Engineering & Construction to advance this project in October 2007. At that time, capacity of the tidal park was to be 600 MW.

Global marine industry may be worth US$760 billion by 2050

The global marine power industry could be worth as much as £460 billion (US$760 billion) by 2050, with the UK comprising a sizable share of the market, the London-based Carbon Trust reports in a new analysis.

The UK is home to 35 of the world's 120 to 130 companies developing wave and tidal power, according to the Carbon Trust. The Trust belives that Britain is capable of capturing about one-fourth of the global wave and tidal power market if the country builds on its existing lead. This, in turn, could support up to 68,000 jobs by 2050, its analysis indicates.

The Carbon Trust estimated the potential energy capacity at 27,500 MW in the UK by 2050, which would be sufficient to power more than 20% of the current electricity demand of the country.

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company providing support to help business and the public sector boost business returns by cutting carbon emissions, saving energy and commercializing low-carbon technologies.

Marine Current Turbines advances work on two tidal farms

The UK Department of Energy and Climate (DECC) has approved a proposal by Marine Current Turbines Ltd. to build a tidal farm in Kyle Rhea, Scotland, using EU funding.

If developed, the 8 MW farm will feature four turbines. MCT is aiming to deploy the tidal farm by 2014.

The proposal will now be sent to the European Investment Bank, which will perform due diligence on the application for nine months.

In related news, MCT with RWE npower renewables have submitted an application to install a 10 MW tidal array off the coast of Anglesey in 2015.

The array, consisting of seven twin rotor turbines arranged across an area of 0.56 km², will harness the power of the tidal waters. The array will be situated between the Skerries islands and Carmel Head, about 1 km off the North East Anglesey coast.

This tidal farm will use MCT's SeaGen technology. SeaGen works like an underwater windmill, with the rotors driven by tidal currents. If the planning consent is granted to SeaGeneration Wales Ltd., the MCT/RWE npower renewables project company, it will be the first tidal array in Wales demonstrating the commercial viability of this technology.

The project will cost about £70 million (US$113 million) to develop and, where possible, local businesses will be contracted for the assembly, installation, operation and maintenance of the tidal array. It will generate jobs that use skills ranging from advanced blacksmithing to sophisticated control systems management, the companies say.

Abengoa, Wavebob partner to develop wave energy systems

Spanish company Abengoa and ocean wave power company Wavebob Ltd. plan to collaborate on the research, development and commercialization of wave energy systems.

At full scale, Wavebob's wave energy convertor will be capable of a capacity of more than 1 MW.

"This collaboration provides immense expertise and global reach to Wavebob," says Andrew Parish, chief executive officer of Wavebob, who added: "Abengoa truly understand the challenges of developing advanced energy technology and converting that challenge to a financial opportunity."

Wavebob and Abengoa are planning to collaborate for at least six years, which would include jointly working to rapidly complete a research and development agenda to meet the growing commercial wave energy opportunities in Europe and the USA. Both companies will collaborate on research, technological development and economic assessment of wave energy locations globally.

Abengoa applies technology solutions to sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors.

Work of EquiMar project nearing completion

The EquiMar project is nearing its conclusion, it says, with the final deliverables being posted on its Internet site at:

These deliverables are a series of reports that reflect the history and status of the various work packages that make up the EquiMar project. The 37 deliverables currently available range from information requests through to draft and final reports.

EquiMar involves about 60 scientists, developers, engineers, and conservationists from 11 European countries working to find ways to measure and compare the dozens of tidal and wave energy devices, proposed locations, and management systems competing for funds. The project began in April 2008 and was scheduled to conclude in April 2011.

The EquiMar project is divided into ten work packages:

— Knowledge base for marine energy systems;

— Physical environment specification;

— Concept appraisal and tank testing practices for first-stage prototype devices;

— Sea trial testing procedures for ocean energy extraction devices;

— Deployment assessment, performance of multi-megawatt device arrays;

— Environmental impact assessment;

— Economic assessment of large-scale wave energy deployment;

— Protocols synthesis;

— Dissemination and public engagement; and

— Project coordination and management.

Seven protocols are available, covering environmental assessment, resource assessment, tank testing, sea trials, deployment and performance assessment of multi-megawatt device arrays, project assessment, and market assessment. The final protocols will establish a base for future marine energy standards being developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 114.

This project has received funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.

Wales developer to build Ramsey Sound tidal project

Wales-based Tidal Energy Ltd. plans to build a 1.2 MW prototype tidal stream power project in Ramsey Sound off the Pembrokeshire coastline in Wales.

Tidal Energy plans to launch a single DeltaStream device deployed for 12 months beginning in June 2012. The project is to include a subsea cable, an onshore control room and substation and electrical infrastructure to connect with the local distribution network.

The DeltaStream unit includes three horizontal-axis turbines on a single 30 meter-wide triangular frame. The frame provides a low center of gravity that allows the unit to sit on the seabed with no positive anchoring or seabed drilling. The base technology previously was developed by Tidal Hydraulic Generators Ltd.

The company plans to hire a contractor for Stage 2 development, the final design, construction, deployment, and testing of the DeltaStream device. The contractor is to manufacture, assemble and deliver the DeltaStream device to shore side, including integration and assembly of components such as turbine blades, gear hubs, generators, drive trains, cabling and ancillary components.

The contractor also is to be responsible for manufacture and assembly of a steel frame with the three turbine nacelles.

ScottishPower Renewables to develop tidal power array

The Scottish government has approved ScottishPower Renewables' plans to develop a 10 MW tidal power array in The Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast.

The project, the first of its kind in the world, envisages generating enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of the whole island, according to a statement. It is also the first tidal array project to be approved by Marine Scotland, the directorate of the Scottish government responsible for the management of Scotland's seas.

SPR plans to install 10 tidal turbines, each with a capacity of 1 MW. The project will use HS1000 tidal turbines developed by Hammerfest Strom AS, a company partly owned by Spanish energy group Iberdrola, which is also SPR's parent company.

The company is constructing the first HS1000 device to go into waters off Orkney this year. After initial testing, Hammerfest Strom will work with SPR to install a 10 MW array at Islay in 2013.

In related news, power conversion specialist Converteam has been selected to supply major elements of electrical equipment for the HS1000. The contract, awarded by Hammerfest Strom UK Ltd. in March 2011, includes the subsea generator and the shore-based systems, including a power converter, transformers and switchgear.

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