World’s first floating tidal BlueTEC platform
BlueTEC Texel platform inaugurated by Mayor of Texel
Den Helder; April 9, 2015 – Today the first BlueTEC Tidal Energy platform was formally named “BlueTEC Texel” by the Mayor of Texel, Francine Giskes, in the Port of Den Helder, the Netherlands. The floating platform, which holds tidal turbines beneath the sea surface, will soon be installed south of the island of Texel – supplying clean electricity to the Dutch grid. This first BlueTEC will serve as a demonstration platform targeted at remote locations worldwide, such as islands in Indonesia, Philippines and the Pacific. It is also the start of further development of higher capacity tidal energy platforms, to be deployed in large farms.
“We are very pleased that we have reached this exciting milestone for our first floating tidal demonstration platform,” says Bluewater’s Head of New Energy Allard van Hoeken at the naming ceremony. Mr. Van Hoeken adds: “It is wonderful to see the Texel tidal energy project come to reality. Today’s ceremony puts us a step closer to our goal of putting an all-in-one tidal energy platform on the market and delivering clean, local and endless energy to the world.”
The coming weeks, the platform will be installed offshore the island of Texel and connected to the Dutch electricity grid – starting its electricity production before summer. It is meant to stay there producing electricity for several years, allowing multiple turbines to be tried out.
This platform is targeted at a worldwide market, it can be shipped as containers and installed anywhere in the world, to provide clean electricity in remote areas and small islands, replacing expensive and polluting diesel generators. An important advantage of tidal energy is its predictability and consistency, bringing stability to local electricity grids.
As all vulnerable electronic equipment is safely housed inside the unit, with easy access from the surface since it floats, inspection for maintenance and repair purposes is a straightforward matter. This makes it a truly unique product. It is also the first time that a complete, integrated tidal system is offered to the market.
The project draws on the specialist skills and experience of an impressive list of partners, many of them having their core business in the offshore oil&gas industry: Bluewater, Damen/Niron Staal, Van Oord/Acta Marine, Vryhof Anchors, TKF, Tocardo, Schottel Hydro, NIOZ, Tidal Testing Centre, Nylacast, Port of Den Helder. “This project is realized thanks to the close cooperation between all involved. Everyone has demonstrated huge enthusiasm – it is fantastic to be a part of that,” concludes Mr. Van Hoeken. The project will also be supported by the Waddenfonds and possibly by the RVO.
The platform is an application of Damen’s modular barge system – a flexible product that can be put into effect in the construction of a wide range of vessels from dredgers and jetties to ferries and pontoons. Damen used three standard container-sized modules to construct the Texel platform. The efficiency of containerized transportation combined with uncomplicated assembly means that the platform can be transported and installed anywhere in the world.