EU funds US$4.4 million for full-scale tidal energy testing and demonstration projects in Orkney

On June 9, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) announced the European Commission (EU) has awarded more than US$4.4 million to support two full-scale tidal energy testing and demonstration projects in Orkney, Scotland.

The award was granted under the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, which provides funding for bottom-up proposals for close-to-market innovation activities in any area of technology or application.

This iteration of FTI funding is split between two projects: Tocardo’s InToTidal project and Magallanes’ Ocean 2G effort.

InToTidal

The IntoTidal project uses Tocardo’s DD1000 device: A rotor type that includes two uni- or bi-directional, fixed-pitch blades on a gearless, variable speed, fixed-pitch turbine that has a power output from 87 to 200 kW.

According to EMEC, Tocardo’s InToTidal project will demonstrate integrated deployment solutions for the company’s tidal turbines. The project’s partners are EMEC, Leask Marine international marine contractors and the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea (Ifremer). Created by decree in 1984, Ifremer is under the joint supervision of France’s ministries for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning.

Ocean 2G

The Ocean 2G floating system is based on a steel-built trimaran that incorporates: A submerged rotor fitted to hydro turbine-generators; a platform that is 42-m long by 25-m wide and weighs 350 metric tons; and it is anchored to the sea bottom by two mooring lines. The rotor has two blades that are 19-m in diameter with a 25-m draft, and the unit is rated at producing 2 MW.

The Ocean 2G project is being led by Spanish tidal turbine company Magallanes, and brings together EMEC, Leask Marine and Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Power & Technology Group to help develop the second generation Magallanes tidal technology.

The original Magallanes project was launched in 2007, in Redondela (Galicia, Spain), setting out to develop a technology capable of extracting energy from tidal currents, according to the company.

Oliver Wragg, EMEC commercial director, said, “This is fantastic news for the ocean energy sector. I’m delighted that the EU is supporting full-scale testing and demonstration to help progress towards a commercially-viable industry.”

FTI is run by the EU’s research and innovation program Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Horizon 2020 is the largest-ever EU research and innovation program and in addition to private investment, the 7-year initiative is funded with nearly US$114 billion available from 2014 and continues to 2020. 

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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