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Marine Hydrokinetics

European Commission releases plan for ocean power

A new European Commission action plan seeks further development of Europe's ocean energy sector.

As presented by Commissioners Maria Damanaki and Gunther Oettinger, the EC will establish an "Ocean Energy Forum" meant to bring together marine and hydrokinetics (MHK) stakeholders to "build capacity and foster cooperation."

The EC notes MHK's "undoubted potential" but said a number of challenges face the sector, including high technology costs; difficulty in accessing financing; infrastructure barriers; dministrative barriers; and environmental issues.

For more information about the EC's action plan, visit http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/ocean_energy/index_en.htm.

Official applications filed for Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Energy development group Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd. has reached a significant step in the development of a 320 MW project by submitting a Development Consent Order to United Kingdom authorities.

The 5,000-page application - submitted under the UK's Planning Act of 2008 - details what would be the largest tidal power plant in the world, according to TLP.

The project would include a 9.5 km-long sea wall that would be dotted with hydro turbines along its length. Rising and falling tides would provide the energy needed for electricity production.

The initial tidal lagoon would be located in Swansea Bay, South Wales, although TLP said it ultimately envisions a number of such projects around the UK.

TLP said it has spent three years developing its project, alongside a consortium that includes Atkins Engineering, Costain Infrastructure, GE, Alstom, Andritz, Voith, Van Oord and Macquarie.

The application will now be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate before public examination, then it will be reviewed by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Pending approvals, construction of the Swansea Bay project could begin in 2015, with power being generated in 2018.

Tidal energy company awarded grant

Tidal technology and project developer Atlantis Resources Limited has been awarded a US$10.55 million grant from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Atlantis Resources, which acquired the 298-MW MeyGen tidal energy array in November, said the EC funding will help support the deployment of multi turbine arrays at the MeyGen site.

The program is being supported by DHI, Royal HaskoningDHV and the University of Edinburgh and will help facilitate the design, installation and operation of its 1.5 MW AR1500 tidal energy units.

The London-based developer has also announced its entry in the Alternative Investment Market with a successful initial public offering and 20 million placing.

The company said the capital raised through the IPO will be used to fund detailed design of the AR1500 turbine with Lockheed Martin and a demonstration project using its AR1000 turbines in China, in addition to supporting the first phase of the MeyGen project.

Located in the Inner Sound development zone of Scotland's Pentland Firth, the array is the largest of its type in Europe.

The 3.5 square km site is being developed in multiple stages, with its first power expected to be generated in late 2015 or early 2016.

The developers recently received a lease agreement from the Crown Estate and began upgrading transmission lines to provide a grid connection point.

Lockheed Martin, Victorian Wave Partners plan project

Lockheed Martin and Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. (VWP) have signed a contract for the development of a 62.5 MW ocean energy station off the cost of Victoria, Australia.

VWP is a wholly-owned subsidy of Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), which signed an agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) allowing for the Australian project's construction in January.

OPT said the US$203.6 million project could eventually include as many as 28 of the generators, making it the largest such installation of its kind in the world.

Lockheed Martin will provide overall project management, assist with the design for manufacturing the units, lead in the production of selected components and perform system integration of the wave energy converters.

New study ups tidal energy potential in Pentland Firth

Tidal energy produced in the Pentland Firth could potentially power half of Scotland, according to new research by engineers at the universities of Oxford and Edinburgh.

The report estimates 1.9 GW of power could be generated in the stretch of water between mainland Scotland and Orkney.

Earlier estimates placed Pentland Firth's potential anywhere from 1 to 18 GW in cumulative capacity.

Although the newest report says as much as 4.2 GW could be produced, 1.9 GW is a much more realistic target based on the efficiency levels of currently available turbines, the study says.

The study was commissioned and funded as part of the Energy Technology Institute's Performance Assessment of Wave and Tidal Array Systems project.

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