EU program funds MHK device testing at EMEC and Meygen, Minesto invests at Holyhead Deep

Worldwide, marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy projects in varying stages of development range from those that are securing funding, being installed at test sites or currently deployed for testing. Recently, four different developers announced the status of their project: Wello Oy, Atlantis Resources, Nova Innovation and Minesto.

Wello Oy

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney reported today that Finland-based marine hydrokinetic energy company, Wello Oy (Wello), successfully installed its Penguin wave energy converter (WEC) at EMEC’s grid-connected test site at Billia Croo, off the west coast of Orkney, Scotland.

The device was deployed the week of March 5. Costs for the device and the project are not immediately available.

As part of the Clean Energy from Ocean Waves (CEFOW) project, the project is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program to test wave and tidal energy arrays in real-world sea conditions during a five-year period.

Wello conducted a full-scale demonstration of its Penguin WEC at Billia Croo during 2011-2014. The device’s nominal capacity was 500 kW and during operation, it fed electricity into the local grid via EMEC’s pre-installed subsea cable. The device was installed at a deep-water berth, about 60 meters (197 feet), at the north end of the site.

In January 2016, the device was towed from Hatston Pier in Orkney to Falmouth Port on the Cornish Court. Wello planned to deploy the Penguin, along with two other Wello WEC devices, at the Wave Hub test facility in Cornwall.

In December 2016 Wello announced the deployment location would change from Wave Hub to EMEC. This change in schedule led to the need for a winter deployment, setting the requirements for fast connections that are available at EMEC, according to Wello.

The Penguin WEC is a floating element based on shape, in which motion energy is directly captured by a generator, resulting to direct conversion from motions to electricity without hydraulics, joints or gears. All parts are sealed inside of the floating hull.

Construction of a second device is planned to begin in summer 2017, which is also planned for deployment at EMEC.

Atlantis Resources

Atlantis Resources, announced today that Phase 1A of its MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth, Scotland, has been granted full accreditation by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) under the Renewables Obligations (Scotland) Order.

Ofgem is a non-ministerial government department and an independent national regulatory authority, recognized by EU directives.

According to Ofgem, the Renewables Obligation is one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale renewable electricity projects in the UK. Smaller scale generation is mainly supported through Feed-In Tariffs.

The RO came into effect in 2002 in England, Wales and Scotland, followed by Northern Ireland in 2005. It places an obligation on UK electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of the electricity they supply from renewable sources.

According to Atlantis, accreditation was granted to the 6-MW tidal stream generating station at the Ness of Quoys in Caithness, which commenced commercial operation in November 2016. The MeyGen project will now be issued five Renewables Obligations Certificates for every MWh of renewable electricity the station generates.

Nova Innovation

A Nova Innovation Ltd.-led European tidal energy consortium announced last week it has secured €4.4 million (US$4.6 million) in funding to develop the tidal turbine power take-off accelerator (TiPA) in a project that will run for 36 months.

Secured under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, according to Nova Innovation, the consortium will design, build and test an innovative direct drive power take-off (PTO) solution for tidal turbines.

In its proposal to the EU, the consortium said its goal in this project is to reduce the lifetime cost of tidal power by 20%, demonstrated by accelerated life testing of a next-generation tidal turbine PTO solution. Project outputs will be independently verified, and will enable:

  1. Improved performance: 20% lifetime cost of energy improvement over a conventional PTO;
  2. Improved reliability: extending service intervals from less than one-year to more than two-years; and
  3. Verified survivability: PTO design lifetime greater than 20 years

The consortium said “test results will be disseminated and exploited to maximize the benefit of this project to the ocean energy sector, and to raise investor and market confidence in the emerging tidal energy industry.”

The international consortium includes:

  • The University of Edinburgh and Siemens Public Limited Co., both in the UK;
  • SKF GMBH and RWTH Aachen University or Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, both of Germany;
  • Wood Group Kenny SAS, of France; and
  • Delft University of Technology, of the Netherlands

The consortium will collaborate to construct the PTO subsystem and carry out accelerated onshore testing in Germany. In-sea testing will be conducted in Scotland.

The PTO subsystem is a component, which converts the mechanical power in the tidal turbine rotor into electricity that is exported to the grid.

Nova Innovation Managing Director, Simon Forrest, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with our European partner organizations to deliver TiPA to develop and demonstrate our innovative direct drive PTO for tidal turbines.

“We are extremely appreciative to the European Commission for their belief in our technology and sector, and are really looking forward to taking the PTO onwards to a commercial reality for the industry.”


Swedish tidal power kite developer Minesto AB, today announced it will use funding gained from a total of 75.2 SEK million (US$8.3 million) in proceeds from its “Minest T01” offering for its Holyhead Deep project in Wales.

Currently, Minesto is testing its 10-MW Deep Green tidal and ocean current energy device at Holyhead Deep. According to Minesto, Deep Green technology is similar to what a turbine would do if attached to a kite and put it in the ocean. Where water current flows instead of the wind blowing, one would have the concept of Deep Green.

In early February, Minesto said it submitted a scoping report to UK consenting authorities Marine Management Organization and Natural Resources Wales, asking for their scoping opinion for development of an 80 MW site in Holyhead Deep. A scoping report offers an environmental assessment, and in this case, Minesto is seeking agency opinion for expanding development in Holyhead Deep.

Martin Edlund, Minesto chief executive officer, said, “[The offering] provides Minesto with significant funding, which we will mainly use to the further development of our unique tidal energy technology Deep Green and to our Holyhead Deep project in Wales, where we will install the first commercial-scale power plants.”

According to a company press release, the subscription period of the warrants “Minest TO1” issued in connection with Minesto’s initial public offering in November 2015, ran Feb. 1-28, 2017. Nearly 12 million new shares were subscribed, corresponding to a subscription rate of 90.7%.

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