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Alstom, SSE Renewables plan 200 MW wave farm in Scotland

Energy conglomerate Alstom and marine developer SSE Renewables are teaming up to develop a 200 MW ocean power project off the coast of Orkney in Scotland.

The two companies will work together to obtain necessary permits and intend to populate the site with AWS-III wave energy converters, a technology under development by AWS Ocean Energy Ltd. Alstom acquired a 40% share of AWS in June 2011.

An Alstom release says the companies will carry out detailed site surveys and an environmental impact assessment before installing an initial phase of about 10 MW.

To date, only a 1:9 scale model of the AWS-III units has been tested, although Alstom says full-scale tests will begin in 2012 with support from the Scottish Enterprise WATERS (Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support) fund. A full-scale prototype is planned for deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in 2014.

Typical AWS-III units have a capacity of 2.5 MW and are to be arranged in "farms" of up to several hundred MW of total rating. Each AWS-III will be connected to a central offshore substation via a high-voltage umbilical link. Alstom says this will be the world's largest ocean power facility when completed.

A 200 MW wave farm equipped with AWS-III wave energy converters is being developed off the coast of Orkney, Scotland, by Alstom and SSE RRenewables.

Australian wave power developer Carnegie eyes new opportunities

Ocean power developer Carnegie Wave Energy Limited announced its application for a foreshore license for an offshore demonstration project near County Clare, Ireland, in December 2011.

The 5 MW facility would feature the company's Cylindrical Energy Transfer Oscillating technology, which has already been used in several ocean power projects — including one near Fremantle, Australia, that came online in February 2008.

After first consulting with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Carnegie's Irish subsidiary CETO Wave Energy Ireland (CWE Ireland) has submitted formal applications to the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government for a foreshore license covering an area between Freagh Point and Spanish Point off County Clare.

Additionally, in December 2011 the Australia-based company announced it has completed a site assessment study for CETO projects along the Chilean coast in South America. Carnegie

named Chile-based Renewable Energy Development Enterprises as its local development partner. The agreement is set to last five years.

Advances at Voith Hydro's Mutriku wave energy project in Spain

Voith Hydro Wavegen received an award from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry in January for its wave power plant in Mutriku, Spain. The 16-turbine, 300 kW facility is housed within the breakwater of the northern Spanish port.

The project was named SCDI's Outstanding International Achievement in Green Energy.

According to SCDI's web site, the award is given to organizations and businesses that are "demonstrating leadership, refocusing their resources and energies and investing to grow and develop in international markets."

In related news, Voith Hydro Wavegen has turned over the Mutriku plant to Ente Vasco de la Energia.

The facility will provide a capacity of 300 kW for the Basque Energy Board in northern Spain. The plant employs Voith Hydro's OWC (oscillating water column) technology. The wave power plant was designed with a 25 year operational life and will provide electricity for 250 homes.

Matthew Seed, chief executive officer of Voith Hydro Wavegen, says the experience gained from completing the Mutriku project will be invaluable as the company continues to improve its wave power technologies.

Crown Estate encouraging ocean energy with nine contracts

The Crown Estate has awarded nine contracts for the development of renewable energy sources, including wave and tidal energy sites.

The EU is targeting a 20% increase in renewable energies by 2020, prompting the Crown Estate to launch the Further Scottish Leasing (Saltire Prize projects) and Demonstration Leases Round that offers organizations opportunities to license seabed areas within the UK's Renewable Energy Zone.

The Crown Estate owns the majority of the seabed within a 12 nautical mile limit of UK territorial waters, and the estate has already made available areas for the development of offshore tidal power projects.

The Crown Estate's most recent licensees and their lots are:

— DP Marine Energy Limited (tidal site at Isle of Islay);

— Glaxo Operations UK Limited (tidal site at Esk Estuary);

— Pelamis Wave Power Limited (wave site at Isle of Lewis);

— Sea Generation (Wales) Limited (tidal site at Skerries);

— AWS Ocean Energy Limited (wave site at Burghead);

— Minesto UK Limited (tidal site at Strangford Lough);

— Argyll Tidal Limited (tidal site at Mull of Kintyre);

— Nova Innovation Limited (tidal site at Bluemull Sound); and

— Oceanflow Development Limited (tidal site at Sanda Sound).

The contracts are only for use of the sites and award no money to the recipients.

Converteam named to install prototype stream power project

Wales-based Tidal Energy Ltd. has awarded a contract to Converteam Ltd. to build a 1.2 MW prototype tidal stream power project off the Pembrokeshire coastline in Wales.

Tidal Energy took bids in March 2011 for installation of the DeltaStream device at the Ramsey Sound project.

The DeltaStream unit includes three horizontal-axis turbines on a single 30 m-wide triangular frame. The frame is to provide 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 contract is worth US$1.97 million and also includes the installation of a subsea cable, an onshore control room and substation, and electrical infrastructure to connect with the local distribution network.

Tidal Today Awards winners announced

Winners of the 2011 Tidal Today Awards were announced at the International Tidal Energy Summit that took place in November 2011 in London.

The awards, in their second year, are designed to "recognize and to reflect the hard work, talent and potential in bringing to fruition real products and real advances in tidal energy," according to a release.

A panel comprised of judges from the European Marine Energy Centre, Black & Veatch and The Carbon Trust selected the finalists before industry peers selected the winners in each category.

The 2011 Tidal Today Award winners are:

— Tidal Energy Technology Innovation: Minesto;

— Tidal Energy Competitiveness: Tidal Generation Limited (Rolls Royce);

— Newcomer of the Year: Scotrenewables Tidal Power;

— Tidal Energy Technology Supplier: Bauer;

— Tidal Energy Engineering Firm: Mojo Maritime LTD;

— Most Effective Tidal Energy Project: Voith, Bauer, UoE and Mojo Maritime LTD; and

— Tidal Energy Lifetime Achievement Award: Martin Wright.

UK wave energy pioneer seeks financing

Three of Britain's biggest engineering groups are being sounded out in an effort to find a solution to the conundrum of how to finance a supplier in the fledgling wave energy sector, the FT reports.

The company up for sale is Pelamis Wave Power of Edinburgh, which hopes to attract interest from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Weir after receiving £45 million (US$70 million) in funding from venture capital groups since it was started in 1998.

The response to ideas about acquiring Pelamis will be a useful test of corporate interest in wave power machines, which employ a range of mechanisms to extract energy from the oceans and convert it into electricity.

While the technology is considered one of the most promising areas of renewable energy, the costs of producing Pelamis's hardware are five to 10 times higher than they need to be before the machines can rival conventional forms of power, such as gas turbines.

Other companies to be canvassed about their potential interest in acquiring Pelamis, which is thought to be worth between $47 million and $78 million, include Siemens of Germany, Caterpillar of the U.S., ABB of Switzerland and Alstom of France.

All could, at least in theory, afford the outlays of perhaps $15.6 million to $31.2 million that might be needed in the next few years to bring Pelamis' technology to fruition.

Per Hornung Pedersen, Pelamis' chief executive, says: "We have reached the stage where it makes most sense to look for financial support from a large engineering company rather than [to] seek further investment from venture capital groups."

Report endorses Marine Current Turbines' SeaGen tidal turbine

Marine Current Turbines' SeaGen tidal turbine operating in Northern Irish waters has been given the green light based on its environmental impact. According to a report by environmental consulting company Royal Haskoning, in collaboration with an independent Science Group — which includes representatives from Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Queen's University Belfast, the Sea Mammal Research Unit and others — the SeaGen tidal turbine has no major impact on marine life.

The 1.2 MW turbine has been operating in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough since 2008 but appears to have had no significant effect on the local environment. The Environmental Monitoring Programme found no changes in the numbers of seals or porpoises, which appear to have continued swimming past the device without any concern — although the report indicates they do tend to avoid the device. Nor did the assessment find any significant change to the speed or direction of flow of the tides within Strangford Narrows.

"This is the most comprehensive study of the environ- mental impact of marine energy devices undertaken anywhere in the world," reports David Erwin, chair of the SeaGen Scientific Group.

According to Frank Fortune, technical director at Royal Haskoning, the findings indicate SeaGen will be able to continue to operate with no significant impacts on the local marine environment.

"Marine Current Turbines has proven that the power of the seas can be harnessed in harmony with marine life," said Northern Ireland's Environment Minister, Alex Attwood.

DCNS, Alderney Renewable Energy sign agreement for ocean power turbine farms

French naval technologies provider DCNS and British tidal current company Alderney Renewable Energy signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2012 to develop ocean power turbine farms in the English Channel.

DCNS says that the area between the Cotentin Peninsula and Alderney has one of the greatest tidal currents in the world and is capable of being used to generate several gigawatts worth of power.

Recently, DCNS assembled the turbine and subsea base of a 2-MW unit for OpenHydro Group Ltd. off France's northern Brittany coast.

For more ocean/tidal/stream news, see the Hydro Project Activity tab at

Learn the latest ocean energy developments at HydroVision International

A seven-session Ocean/Tidal/Stream Power track is one of many valuable educational options available to attendees of the HydroVision International event, being held July 17-20 in Louisville, Ky., USA.

The seven panel presentation sessions in this track feature industry experts speaking on:

-- Research and Development: Moving Forward

-- Deployed Projects: Experiences from Across the Globe

-- The Tradeoffs between Cost, Survivability and Efficiency

-- Resource Assessment

-- The U.S. Permitting Process: How It has Evolved

-- User Conflicts and Stakeholder Involvement

-- Jumping the ESA/MMPA Hurdles

For more information or to register for the event,
visit www.hydroevent.com.

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