Renew On Line (UK) 67
|Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 167 May-June 2007
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
4. Pelamis for Scotland
The largest wave farm so far is to be built off coast of Orkney in 2008, using four Pelamis ‘wave snake’ devices, following on from the 2.25MW project already installed off the coast of Portugal. The £10 m 3MW scheme off Orkney, which will be run by ScottishPower offshoot CRE, will be the UK’s first commercial wave farm. Edinburgh-based Ocean Power Delivery (OPD)will supply four wave-energy converters, each one being about 520ft long and rated at 750 kW.
Richard Yemm, managing director of OPD, said: ‘Wave technology for a long time has languished in the lab. We are now putting the technology in the water where we can measure it on a commercial basis.’
Keith Anderson, from ScottishPower, said ‘This is a massive step forward. It’s testing the real devices that should be able to withstand the sea conditions for 20 or 25 years. The information that comes back will feed into subsequent versions. There will be a process of continual improvement.’
He went on ‘The reason people get so excited about the potential of marine is the fact it is very, very predictable and a very constant source of energy production. That’s one of the things that still needs to be proven. The importance of this is to scale it up- can you scale it up, can you make it commercially viable, can we start to move this industry forward?’
He added that Scotland and Portugal were leading the world in marine energy, with Spain, South Africa, west-coast states in the US and Canada also showing interest in the area. ‘If we want to follow the Danish model- which became the world leader in wind power- we need to have this sort of step’.
The Scotsman (20th Feb.) was very upbeat about this development, seeing it as a the start of a major new trend: ‘The first commercial wind farm in the UK- built at Delabole in Cornwall in 1991- was a similar size to the Orkney wave power scheme. The industry hopes the cost of wave power will follow that of wind power, which has fallen by 80% since the first turbines were introduced.’
It noted that OPD expects that future wave farms would have a number of machines linked to shore by a single sub-sea cable. A typical 30MW farm would occupy a just under half a square mile.
Dr Dan Barlow, WWF Scotland, said: ‘We have long argued we need to build a broad renewable base in Scotland. I think this is excellent- we are now just on the cusp of commercial wave-power generation.’
Duncan McLaren, FoE Scotland, said wave and tidal could meet a fifth of the UK’s electricity needs. ‘It is critical that we see full-scale devices in our waters soon, otherwise the world-leading expertise Scotland has built up will rapidly depart these shores’.
..part of Scotlands £13m Marine Energy programme
£4.141m funding to CRE Energy for the new 3MW Pelamis wave farm project will come from the Scottish Executive, and this is is part of an over £13m allocation from the Marine Energy Fund to new wave/tidal projects in Scottish waters.
In all nine projects are being supported for testing, with the initial fund of £8 million originally announced last Sept by the Executive having been boosted by £5.15 million to meet demand. The project funding will also be supplemented by an additional £500,000 to develop a testing berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
The other project allocations include:
* £1.796m for ScotRenewables for its SRTT with dual horizontal-axis tidal rotors mounted under a floating tank and driving generators within sub-surface nacelles.
* £1.214m for Open Hydro’s 250kW Open-Centre Turbine (see below), to be installed on the sea bed at EMEC’s tidal site.
*£0.598m for the US Ocean Power Technology ‘PowerBuoy’ wave system
* £0.275m for Aquamarine’s Oyster near shore wave device.
In addition CleanTechCom gets £0.273m to work on two 1m diameter siphon pipes on Orkney, and Wavegen gets £0.149m for the development and testing of an advanced Wells turbine which is expected to be used on a wave project on the Western Isles, at Siadar, which is currently being developed with npower renewables. The project will use Wavegen’s existing Oscillating Water Column at the Limpet site, on Islay. And Tidal Generation gets £0.077 m for the extraction of a core sample of seabed from the berth area Tidal Generation’s machine will occupy.
The executive note that ‘The bulk of the successful projects will take place in and around the EMEC in Orkney, with the installation of small arrays/single devices at the wave and tidal test facilities there. Devices are expected in the water this year, with full commissioning during 2008. An additional £2.5m has been ring-fenced for upgrading the site at the EMEC to help accommodate these devices.’
Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said that the new funding ‘marks a vital milestone in Scotland’s drive to be the world leader in the development of marine renewables’, and claimed that ‘Scotland has the potential to generate a quarter of Europe’s marine energy’. At present, Scotland gets 18% of it’s electricity from renewables, with wind now at almost 1GW.
‘The strong growth of the onshore wind sector, more hydro and the deployment of emerging technologies like wave, tidal and dedicated biomass, could mean that by 2010, around a third of Scotland’s electricity needs would be met by renewables.’
Scottish Renewables, 2006 Annual report
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