Renew On Line (UK) number 71
|Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 171 Jan/Feb 2008
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
4. Marine Energy Race
Marine Current Turbines Ltd had hoped to install its 1.2 MW SeaGen in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland, last summer, but, speaking to a meeting in Guernsey in Oct 2007, MCTs’ Peter Fraenkel, reported that, ‘we had difficulty tracking down a contractor to do the work, primarily because of the installation of offshore wind turbines. We are aiming for March next year, although we don’t have a firm date for that.’
He went on ‘After we’ve installed it we’re taking on a project to install the first farm- 10.5MW, with seven machines- in two or three years’ time. We’re still hopeful of doing a project at some stage in the waters around Guernsey, which obviously do have potential.’
He added that Guernsey Electricity had been extremely supportive; there was a lot of interest in the island about what MCT was doing. ‘We hope that it will lead to a real project in the long term. Other companies claim to have tidal turbines but, in reality it’s something that’s yet to appear- it’s models, artists’ impressions or very small devices.’
To be commercially viable, he said, a turbine needed to generate at least one megawatt because of the overheads involved when working at sea. ‘We don’t think anybody else is likely to have a machine of that size for two or three years. Although we’re delayed, we’re still well ahead.’
He cast some doubt on the technology being pursued in Alderney by competitor OpenHydro, in conjunction with Alderney Renewable Energy: the turbines needed to be at least 300sq. metres to be economically sound. Those set to be installed in Alderney are about a tenth of that, he said. It is also only a third of the size of a machine MCT installed four years ago. ‘I’d say it is not up to the stage we were at then.’ Source: Guernsey Press and Post 18/10/07
For their part, Dublin based Open Hydro report in the newsletter of EMEC, the European Marine Energy Centre, that they have redesigned their Open Centre Turbine- see left. They installed the first version at EMEC’s tidal test site a year ago, and since then, the system has undergone a series of tests at the Fall of Warness, a fast flowing tidal channel off the island of Eday. ‘We’ve learned a huge amount as a result and the turbine has performed extremely well’, said OpenHydro chief executive James Ives. The original six-metre turbine has been removed from the test site, ready for the new machine to take its place. ‘It’s identical in appearance, however the turbine has been enhanced in a number of important areas’, said Mr Ives. ‘Developing new technology is an evolutionary process and each time we build a new generation turbine, we’ll be testing it at EMEC.’
Using the experienced gained in Orkney, they are developing commercial tidal projects in Nova Scotia and the Channel Islands.
* A ‘scoping report’ has been submitted to DBERR for the 8MW Lunar Energy tidal current farm project planned for off the coast of Pembrokeshire, and backed by E.ON. If approved they say it could be operational by 2010/11. And Wavegen have revealed more details of the Siadar wave project they are planning, in collaboration with npower renewables, for the Isle of Lewis, with an exhibition at a local school. It would be housed within a new breakwater, with the 4MW Oscillating Water Column unit built into the structure. As well as providing green electricity, the project could provide some shelter and act as a fair weather harbour facility for commercial and leisure craft.
Yes to Wave Hub
The proposed £28m Wave Hub 16km off Cornwalls north coast has got Govt. planning approval.
It should come on line in 2009, with four projects initially under test- OPD’s Pelamis, OPT’s Wave Buoy, and devices from Oceanlinx and Fred Olsen. Eventually up to 30 devices could be linked in.
|We are now offering to e-mail subscribers a PDF version of the complete Renew, instead of sending them the printed version, should they wish.|