The €11m FORESEA project brings together Europe’s leading ocean energy test facilities to help demonstration of tidal, wave and offshore wind energy technologies in real-sea conditions. The project is funded by the Interreg NWE (North-West Europe) programme, part of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

Led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the FORESEA (Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action) project will provide funding support to ocean energy technology developers to access Europe’s world-leading ocean energy test facilities:

  • EMEC (Orkney Islands, UK)
  • SmartBay (Galway, Ireland)
  • SEM-REV (Nantes, France)
  • Tidal Testing Centre (Den Oever, Netherlands)

Commenting on the project launch, Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs & Fisheries said: “This programme shows the added value of European cooperation. If we are to help ocean energy on a path towards commercialisation, countries as well as companies will have to work together to overcome joint challenges. The European Commission is encouraging this kind of cooperation, for example through the Ocean Energy Forum as well as programmes such as this one.”

The first call for applicants to apply for support packages is scheduled to be announced later this month.

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The EU-funded Floating Tidal Energy Commercialization (FloTEC) project is expected to advance Scotrenewables’ 2 MW floating tidal turbine technology, the SR2000, while reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of floating tidal energy.

The project will cover several aspects such as advanced standard power conversion technology as already used in offshore wind, more economical manufacturing, and integrated energy storage, according to Marco Thoma, Head of Global Marketing and Sales at ABB.

ABB is one of FloTEC project partners, led by Scotrenewables Tidal Power, in addition to other industrial and research organisations including DP Energy, Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), EireComposites, TfI Marine, University College Cork, and SKF.

Marco Thoma said: “One aspect that’s being looked into is to reduce costs by moving the electrical equipment, which is currently installed in the hull of the floating turbine, onshore.

“We expect that by installing the electrical equipment, such as converter and switchgear onshore, the structure of the hull can be simplified, and installation and maintenance costs can be significantly lowered. This is just one part of the project, which will deliver a number of innovations to reduce the cost of tidal energy.”

The plan is that the 2 MW prototype of the tidal turbine, the SR2000-M2, will be installed alongside Scotrenewables’ SR2000 turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) tidal test site in Orkney, where the 4 MW floating tidal array will serve as a demonstration platform for commercially viable tidal stream energy, according to ABB.

Thoma added ABB will provide engineering services and simulation studies that will focus on an optimal design of the electrical drivetrain and the connection to the grid to ensure lowest LCoE and grid code compliance.

As reported earlier, the European Commission’s research and innovation program, Horizon 2020, backed the FloTEC project with €10 million in February this year.


The European Commission’s largest research and innovation programme, Horizon2020, has awarded a grant of €10 million (£7.75m) to advance the commercialisation of Scotrenewables’ floating tidal energy technology.

The Floating Tidal Energy Commercialisation (FloTEC) project will demonstrate the potential for floating tidal systems to provide low-cost, high-value energy to the European grid mix.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, made the announcement today [23 February 2016] in his keynote address at the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) in Edinburgh.

“I am delighted that Scotrenewables has been successful in securing €10 million from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme,” commented Mr Ewing.

“Scotrenewables has proven that collaboration is a vital component in overcoming the challenges facing successful tidal energy deployment – a view echoed by the members who have joined this impressive partnership.

“The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies have been proud supporters of Scotrenewables from the early days of the development of the SR250 prototype. Scotrenewables has taken a significant step closer to demonstrating that extracting energy from our seas can be a commercially viable, cost competitive option for producing clean, green energy.”

Following the announcement, the project partners met for the kick-off meeting.

Led by Scotrenewables, FloTEC brings together a unique partnership of the most experienced and committed commercial, industrial and research organisations involved in tidal energy today: DP Energy; Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries; the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC); ABB Ltd; EireComposites; Technology from Ideas; University College Cork; and SKF.

The FloTEC project will advance Scotrenewables’ current 2MW floating tidal technology, the SR2000, with the development of a mark 2 turbine.

The SR2000-M2 prototype will be installed alongside the SR2000-M1 at EMEC’s tidal test site at the Fall of Warness in Orkney, forming a 4MW floating tidal array to serve as a demonstration platform for commercially viable tidal stream energy as well as optimising energy extraction for arrays in locally varying tidal resources.

There will be a significant focus on reducing the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) at every stage of the design, build and demonstration of the SR2000-M2, with significant capital and operational cost reductions expected.

James Murray, Business Development Manager at Scotrenewables Tidal Power said:

“The ambition of FloTEC is to drive down the cost of tidal energy through the delivery of a number of targeted innovations on an enhanced variant of Scotrenewables’ SR2000 floating tidal turbine. Engineering will commence in early 2016 and will include advanced power conversion hardware, low cost manufacturing technologies, load reduction mooring components and integrated energy storage.”

EMEC’s Managing Director, Neil Kermode, adds:

“Having successfully tested their 250kW prototype at EMEC since 2011, we’re extremely excited to see the next generation SR2000 take its place over the coming months.

“The performance assessment at EMEC will provide evidence of the enhancements that have been made to the SR2000-M2, de-risking the technology and improving investor confidence, supporting the technology towards commercialisation”.

 

About Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the eighth phase of the European Commission’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development.  The programme runs from 2014 – 2020 and will provide nearly €80 billion of funding, the largest of its kind to date.

The goal of Horizon2020 is to drive European economic growth and create employment through supporting projects that deliver scientific breakthroughs, show industrial leadership and tackle societal challenges.

Horizon2020 places a strong focus on supporting Europe’s transition to a secure, clean and efficient energy system.  It has allocated a budget of almost €6 billion to non-nuclear research in seven specific research areas including energy consumption reduction, low carbon energy supply, alternative fuel sources, smart electricity networks and emerging technologies.

www.ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/

About the FloTEC consortium

Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited is an engineering company based on the Orkney Islands specialising in the development of a tidal energy turbine technology with the potential to produce a step-change reduction in the cost of energy from tidal stream flows.  The company’s novel floating technology offers a low cost solution for simplified and safe manufacture, installation, access and maintenance of units along with the ability to use low cost, small workboats for all offshore operations. www.scotrenewables.com

ABB is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people. www.abb.com/uk

DP Energy are a global renewable energy development company with one of the largest portfolios of tidal array projects. www.dpenergy.com

ÉireComposites is an innovative design, manufacturing and testing company, involved in lightweight, high-performance, fibre-reinforced composite materials for the aerospace, wind energy, marine and automotive sectors. www.eirecomposites.com

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is the leading and longest established test and research centre for wave and tidal energy. www.emec.org.uk

Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries have more than 150 years’ experience of heavy steel marine engineering.  The company provides engineering and fabrication services to the oil and gas, offshore wind and marine energy sectors. www.harland-wolff.com

SKF: SKF delivers innovative solutions to equipment manufacturers and production facilities in every major industry worldwide. Having expertise in multiple competence areas supports SKF Life Cycle Management, a proven approach to improving equipment reliability, optimizing operational and energy efficiency and reducing total cost of ownership. These competence areas include bearings and units, seals, lubrication systems, mechatronics, and a wide range of services, from 3-D computer modelling to cloud-based condition monitoring and asset management services. www.skf.com

TfI Marine (Technology from Ideas) develops and supplies elastomeric, mooring system components that reduce peak loads by ~ 70% and protect against shock loads. They are scalable for use on wave, floating wind and tidal energy devices and help reduce the overall cost of energy produced. By reducing the mooring loads they enable reductions in the device’s capital and operational costs.  www.tfimarine.com

University College Cork, headquarters of the Centre for Marine and Renewable energy (MaREI) and home of Lir National Ocean Energy Test facility (Lir NOTF), are a leading research institution for marine energy. UCC will support tidal blade design, energy storage analysis and power performance assessment. www.ucc.ie, www.marei.ie, www.Lir-NOTF.com