Oceans of knowledge

EMEC project


Bluewater has secured a berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney, Scotland, for full-scale demonstration. EMEC provides developers of wave and tidal energy converters with purpose-built, accredited open-sea testing facilities. With its substantial tidal energy resource and the existing infrastructure EMEC makes an ideal site for this project.

EMEC site
EMEC site

Full Scale Demonstration Project

The BlueTEC demonstration project aims to test a full scale floating tidal energy platform in realistic and challenging conditions to show improved economics for tidal energy generation with this floating solution. This demonstration project is supported by the EU LIFE+ program. The objectives of this unique demonstration project are to:

  1. Demonstrate the technical feasibility and the cost effectiveness of a full scale floating tidal energy installation composed of multiple turbines mounted on a floating steel platform. The platform will be anchored to the sea bed with mooring lines.
  2. Showcase a technology and design for the floating structure that can be scaled up to produce tidal energy at a competitive cost and will offer pollution free sustainable power.
  3. Prove the innovative design and increased accessibility of the device allow for low operation & maintenance (O&M) costs.
  4. Provide European policy makers with reliable data to help them create regulatory frameworks for the tidal energy industry. The BlueTEC demo aims to involve policy makers from countries in Europe where tidal energy is commercially exploitable and the EU to simplify the regulatory framework and stimulate the development of offshore renewables.

Bluewater has partnered with the Environmental Research Institute (UK). Together this consortium aims to introduce BlueTEC, a cost and risk reduction breakthrough for the tidal energy industry, and demonstrate that it is the most economical and reliable device to harness tidal energy. Bringing otherwise bottom-mounted turbines closer to the surface, BlueTEC significantly reduces the capital expenditure and operational costs of a tidal project. Based on Bluewater’s extensive offshore experience the floating solution will reduce risks substantially. The BlueTEC demonstration will accelerate the viability of tidal energy and contribute towards making it cost compatible with other forms of (renewable) energy.

Duration: 1 September 2010 – 1 May 2017

The duration of the LIFE+ project is from 1 September 2010 up to 1 May 2017. During the development of the project, the following phases have been planned and partly already executed:

Phase 1: Project management – 1 Sept 2010 to 1 May 2017

In the project management phase, the execution plan for project implementation is developed. Actual project management is executed for the whole length of the project to ensure completion in time, on target and within budget.

Phase 2: Preparation for demonstration – 1 Sept 2010 to 31 Jan 2015

In this phase, the design is finalized, tenders are published, bids are collected and required materials are procured. An overall risk assessment is executed and procedures to conform to regulations are established and a pre-installation environmental impact and benefit assessment is executed.

Phase 3: Construction and Installation – 1 Nov 2014 to 31 March 2016

The fabricated platform and procured turbine are assembled and installed. The mooring lines, anchors and subsea power cable are also installed and connected.

Phase 4: Full scale demonstration – 1 April 2016 to 28 Feb 2017

The device is started up and during demonstration, intervention or corrective measures is taken when necessary. The system is evaluated and its performance is fine-tuned. In this phase, metocean and output data as well as post-installation environmental data is collected.

Phase 5: Technical Validation and Environmental Impact Analysis – 1 Mar 2016 to 1 May 2017

Different aspects of the system are monitored. Parameters such as platform behaviour, generated power, maintenance costs and marine growth are quantified and documented. In this stage the post-installation environmental impact and benefit assessment of the device is performed.

Phase 6: Dissemination and Communication – 1 Sept 2010 to 1 May 2017

The demonstration results are broadly disseminated. This is done to raise awareness of the environment as well as the economic benefits of the BlueTEC device among stakeholders.

Contact person: Bram Pek (bram.pek@bluewater.com)

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