Known as MOREDATAS (Methods to Obtain Refined Environmental DATA from the Seas) the project addresses a variety of uncertainties faced by developers through the implementation of Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs),which are seabed mounted acoustic devices used to measure tidal currents and wave heights. The five companies include:
- DynamOcean Sarl, the project coordinator from France
- Applied Renewables Research resource survey and assessment specialists based in Northern Ireland
- Cork-based DP Energy which is developing 330 MW of tidal generation off the coasts of Northern Ireland and Scotland
- Welsh based Tidal Energy Ltd. which has built the first full scale tidal turbine to be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire and
- Ecole Centrale de Nantes, operating the SEM-REV test site, located 20km from the west coast of France.
David Fitzgerald is the resource assessment lead with DP Energy and Project Engineer for the Fair Head Tidal Energy Park off the coast of County Antrim. He says the outcome of the joint programme will be to reduce risk through the reduction of energy production uncertainty.
He said: “Our objective is to deliver more robust design data so that developers of ocean energy can move more quickly in determining the most efficient and appropriate technologies, to ascertain more clearly whether or not a site is right and to generally provide them with a more accurate picture of the environment in which they are investing.
“Data will be collected at a number of sites with varying conditions and innovative processing techniques will be developed to further reduce uncertainty.”
This is precisely the kind of collaborative approach which the Wood Review recommended for the oil and gas energy sector, and which Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing set up the Wave Energy Scotland quango for.
It is interesting to note that this private-sector consortium is making waves on collaboration to reduce risks and that – while it will eploit data from Scotland’s marine energy jurisdiction – the Wave Energy Scotland quango is not involved.
Last week, another major Scottish marine energy pioneer – Aquamarine Power – sank into Administration, despite winning a £2 million contract from Wave Energy Scotland.