Scottish tidal turbine developer Nautricity has secured a grid-connected tidal test berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney following successful sea trials at a non-grid connected site last year.
In 2014, Nautricity tested its CoRMaT tidal energy converter and Hydrobuoy mooring system at EMEC’s Shapinsay Sound test site, gaining experience of operating in real sea conditions.
Nautricity is a tidal energy technology developer based in Glasgow, which is developing next generation tidal energy solutions. It has received full consenting for its tidal site at the Mull of Kintyre in southwest Scotland.
The company is now taking a step closer to commercialisation having secured a test berth at EMEC’s Fall of Warness test site for its next generation prototype – putting their technology to the test in some of the harshest sea conditions on the planet.
Cameron Johnstone, Nautricity Chief Executive, said: “Our objectives for Nautricity’s forthcoming operations at EMEC are threefold: we want to undertake technical de-risking of a grid connected 0.5MW CoRMaT tidal turbine within higher energetic tidal sites; evaluate the performance of Nautricity’s new foundation system designed for shallower water operations; and demonstrate the ability to quickly deploy our tidal technology in tidal sites with short operating windows using smaller scale vessels.
“We are keen to get to get the next CoRMaT turbine into the water so we can build on our experience in Orkney. We’ve previously been through three scale prototype testing programs – as well as the full scale second generation device tested at EMEC’s Shapinsay Sound site last year.
“The principle of undertaking these tests was to hone in on the components of the complete system, and test individual components safely and easily. We are now looking forward to combining these to test a fully operational system.”
In addition to grid-connected sites, EMEC also offers sea-trial facilities in the less challenging conditions of Scapa Flow and Shapinsay Sound. Neil Kermode, EMEC Managing Director, commented: “Sea-trials enable marine energy developers and suppliers to learn lessons earlier, more cheaply, and provide a stepping stone towards larger scale projects.”