Marine energy overview: Partnership announced and funding offered

Several significant events happened in the global marine energy industry last week. Below is a recap of just a few of these:

1. CorPower Ocean and Sustainable Marine Energy joined forces on the Universal Mooring, Anchor & Connectivity Kit Demonstration (UMACK) project. This project will address ocean energy affordability, survivability, reliability and installation through the demonstration of a generic anchor-foundation-mooring-connectivity system that aims to reduce capital and installation costs by up to 50%.

The €2.3 million (US$2.6 million) collaboration is being funded by Scottish Enterprise and the Swedish Energy Agency, with co-funding from the OCEANERA-NET COFUND. The UMACK system will be installed at a wave energy site and first demonstrated using an “empty” CPO C4 WEC hull. After that, a PTO will be integrated into the hull and the UMACK system will be verified with an integrated WEC device.

2. Orbital Maine Power, together with SKF, have been awarded €1.2 million (US$1.4 million) in research funds by the European Ocean Energy ERA-NET Cofund to support a pitch controller project that will improve the performance of Orbital Marine’s floating tidal turbine. Targeted Optimal Pitch module for Floating Tidal Energy (TOPFLOTE) will deliver a controller for floating tidal turbine blades, allowing the blades’ pitch angle to be readily varied in real time to manage dynamic loadings and optimize power performance.

The pitch module will be engineered through 2019 and incorporated for performance testing on Orbital’s upcoming commercial demonstrator turbine, the Orbital O2 2MW, scheduled to be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland, in 2020. The module will control two sets of blades with 20 m rotor diameters.

3. The MaRINET2 project launched its third call for applications on Nov. 1. The call is open to offshore energy technology developers, including wave, wind and tidal energy at system and component level. Successful applicants will receive free access to a network of 57 research facilities across Europe. MaRINET2 is a €10.5 million (US$12 million) Horizon 2020 funded project that supports offshore renewable energy R&D activities.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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