Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME, said: "It's a huge achievement for the team.PLAT-O has been generating power consistently, reliably and, most importantly has behaved as we predicted it would. The mooring solution we have developed and employed is as steady as a rock.The installation operation went very smoothly and it absolutely goes to show that tidal energy devices can be installed in a low cost and efficient manner. Developing systems and deploying them in these strong tidal flows is a massive challenge but we have nailed it. The cost of tidal energy is coming down rapidly with systems like PLAT-O coming on stream."
Matt Slatter, Chairman of SME, said: "It has been a very busy and very exciting time for the team at SME. The completion of our testing programme in the Solent is a major milestone and the culmination of three years of hard work. PLAT-O has lived up to expectations and we are now focusing on the deployment of PLAT-O at the European Marine Energy Centre and the build of the second PLAT-O. With the support of Scottish Enterprise, we are building the team to deliver a farm of PLAT-O systems generating up to 1MW of power at EMEC by the end of 2016."
PLAT-O was fitted with two SCHOTTEL HYDRO turbines and Niels A. Lange, Managing Director of SCHOTTEL HYDRO, said:"The emerging tidal energy business calls for a way to make this predictable source of power accessible and commercially viable to satisfy future energy demands. The co-operation between SME and SCHOTTEL HYDRO provides an answer to this need.The submerged PLAT-O platform and the installed SIT turbines combine the advantages of ease of installation, maintenance access and safe operation in rough sea conditions. The installation of the PLAT-O array at EMEC will further demonstrate that the cost-effective delivery of tidal power to the grid is possible and profitable for commercial projects."
Leask Marine, an Orkney based company, provided the multi-cat, C-Salvor, along with deck crew and a dive team with extensive experience working in strong tidal environments for the marine operations. Douglas Leask, MD of Leask Marine, said: "This is the first substantial marine operation that we have carried out with SME and it was very straightforward. The plans were clear and the team were very professional to work with. We have worked with other tidal energy devices and, in comparison, PLAT-O is an extremely well designed system that enables low cost operations."
For more information, high-res photos or to arrange interviews please contact:
Clemency Ives, Communications, Sustainable Marine Energy