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Re Vision market acceleration study nears completion

Re Vision Consulting LLC plans to complete work on its marine energy market acceleration study by the end of 2009.

This work is being funded through an award of up to $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy. This award was announced in September 2008 under DOE's research and development solicitation for Advanced Water Power Projects.

The name of the study is Best Siting Practices for Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies with Respect to Environmental and Navigational Impacts. The goal is to establish baseline technology-based scenarios to identify potential navigational and environmental concerns in the siting of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices and to provide data to industry and regulators.

In performing the study, Re Vision focused on tidal and wave energy conversion, says Mirko Previsic, president of Re Vision. The company chose three scales of technology development: pilot, early commercial, and commercial.

For the wave analysis, the company chose two sites, one in Humboldt County, Calif., and the other off the northeast shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Re Vision then chose four wave technologies: Wave Dragon, PowerBuoy from Ocean Power Technologies, Oyster from Aquamarine Power Ltd., and Pelamis from Ocean Prospect.

For the tidal analysis, the company chose one site, Tacoma Narrows in Washington. Re Vision then chose three technologies: SeaGen from Marine Current Turbines, RTT2000 from Lunar Energy Ltd., and TidEL from SMD Hydrovision.

These scales, sites, and technologies will allow the company to put together 24 wave and nine tidal scenarios.

Nine hydro companies named to marine technology list

Marine Technology Reporter named nine companies that do work in the hydroelectric industry to its fourth annual MTR 100 list. The companies named are AXYS Technologies, Deep Ocean Engineering, HTI, Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd., Resolute Marine Energy Inc., SeaBotix Inc., Teledyne Marine, VideoRay LLC, and YSI Inc.

This list showcases the diversity of companies that serve the subsea defense, commercial, and scientific markets, says Gregory R. Trauthwein, associate publisher and editor of Marine Technology Reporter.

Work done by the nine companies:

– AXYS in British Columbia, Canada, manufactures and maintains remote environmental data acquisition, processing, and telemetry systems;

– Deep Ocean is a California-based company that designs and manufactures remotely operated vehicles (ROV);

– HTI in Washington manufactures hydroacoustic fisheries research equipment, including acoustic tags, acoustic tag receivers, and hydroacoustic systems;

– Kongsberg Mesotech is a Vancouver, Canada-based company that designs, manufactures, and sells high-resolution sonar systems and acoustic technology;

– Resolute Marine in Massachusetts focuses on developing wave energy converters;

– SeaBotix is a California-based company that manufactures ROVs;

– Teledyne Marine is a group of ten companies that provides acoustic Doppler current profilers, seafloor mapping profiling tools, and echo sounders;

– VideoRay is a Pennsylvania-based company that manufactures ROVs; and

– YSI in Ohio provides water quality monitoring instrumentation.

FERC, state of Maine coordinate hydrokinetic project review

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state of Maine are working to coordinate procedures and schedules for reviewing hydrokinetic energy projects in state waters of Maine.

FERC and the state of Maine signed a memorandum of agreement in August 2009. FERC has signed similar agreements with Washington and Oregon.

FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said the agreement is an important step to pursuing hydrokinetic technologies on the East Coast, reducing some regulatory barriers to developing the emerging forms of hydrokinetic technology. Under terms of the accord, FERC and Maine agree:

– Each will notify the other when one becomes aware of a potential applicant for a preliminary permit, pilot project license, or license;

– The parties will set a schedule for processing applications as early as possible, including milestones for FERC and Maine to complete their processes, and will encourage other federal agencies and stakeholders to comply with the schedules;

– They will coordinate environmental reviews of any proposed projects and will consult with stakeholders, including project developers, on the design of studies and environmental matters;

– FERC will consider to what extent tidal projects are consistent with Maine's pertinent comprehensive plans; and

– Maine will take action on water quality certification for demonstration hydrokinetic projects within 60 days after accepting an application.

Concepts NREC, Oceanlinx developing ocean power system

Concepts NREC and Oceanlinx Ltd. are moving forward on development of an ocean wave energy converter system, which will be demonstrated off the coast of Maui, Hawaii.

This project is one of 14 chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy to share in $7.3 million of funding under its research and development solicitation for Advanced Water Power Projects. This award has a value of up to $1.2 million (including cost-share commitments) for up to two years.

Concepts NREC of Vermont and Oceanlinx of New South Wales, Australia, are working to develop a commercially viable 600-kW wave energy converter system. This system is to be deployed as part of a $10 million program being undertaken by Oceanlinx.

The technology Oceanlinx is developing consists of eight 300-kilowatt-equivalent (nominal rating) modular generators tethered to the sea bottom that use oscillating water column technology. In this type of system, the ascension of the wave front compresses the trapped air inside the unit to slightly greater than atmospheric pressure. That compressed air turns turbine-generators to produce electricity at it escapes to the atmosphere.

The proposed work is an extension of the current development activitie on the original 300-kW system, which was tested in 2009 in Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia.

Concepts NREC is assisting Oceanlinx in analyzing the oscillating water column system and providing detailed designs of the sub-system for the high-speed turbine needed to meet Oceanlinx's project schedule. (The sub-system consists of all the components used to produce power, except the turbine rotor.) Concepts NREC also is testing the mechanical integrity of several critical mechanical systems that it designed for the Oceanlinx turbine, including the blade articulation and blade-cartridge (lubricated bearing support) mechanisms.

The work is planned to be completed in 24 months. In Phase I, the detailed design, manufacturing, and installation drawings will be prepared, and the mechanical testing described above will be performed. Work on this phase began in February 2009 and is scheduled to be complete by January 2010. In Phase II, the complete system will be built and installed for long-term operation in Maui, Hawaii. This full-scale demonstration consists of eight 300-kW modules and is intended to validate the technology design approach, energy recovery efficiency, reliability, and system economics. Oceanlinx plans to have this installation in place by late 2010.

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