In addition the testing period has allowed collaboration with a number of research projects including SURFTEC, MET-Certified and Tidal Turbine Testing Phase 3 (TTT3). All have deployed instrumentation on or around the platform, monitoring a number parameters and their research will be publicly disseminated when complete.
Dr Ralf Starzmann Sales Director & Head of Hydrodynamics of SCHOTTEL HYDRO said “Connel has provided a fantastic testing facility for us with challenging tides and turbulence allowing us to test every foreseeable turbine mode. We are very happy with the data coming from the turbines, performing exactly to specification. Necessary turbine interventions during the testing had been carried out in situ, with only a small vessel required, this just wouldn’t have been possible without the flexibility and modularity of the PLAT-I platform. We are very excited to have been able to share data with all of the projects who have been involved, and look forward to the resulting research outputs which will benefit the whole tidal energy engineering community.”
SME is now teaming up with the Canadian company Black Rock Tidal Power Inc (BRTP) for this important follow on project, which will evaluate the environmental impact and commercial potential of the PLAT-I technology. BRTP is working closely with all of the relevant regulatory bodies in Nova Scotia and Canada to ensure that the Grand Passage deployment will increase scientific understanding of marine animal behaviour near the platform and provide a test bed for environmental monitoring systems. The results of the second phase of testing will provide regulators with more information to evaluate future tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy.
Sustainable Oceans Applied Research Ltd. (SOAR) is a not for profit Nova Scotia company which has been engaged to assist BRTP and its partners in site characterisation, permitting and stakeholder engagement for the project. SOAR is also advising on development of an appropriate environmental monitoring programme for the Grand Passage deployment to look at a variety of marine life including sensitive whale species known to frequent the area. BRTP and SOAR are already interfacing with various research institutions and private companies to ensure that the most robust monitoring procedures are followed using the most suitable instrumentation, so that the programme is repeatable for future tidal installations in Canada.
Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME said “Canada is an obvious choice for the next stage of PLAT-I and SME’s development because of the abundant resource in and around the Bay of Fundy. The area has fantastic natural resource, all driven by the largest tidal range in the world at up to 14m. But more than that, Canada, and Nova Scotia in particular is key to SME’s commercial strategy due to the revenue support available for the generation of clean energy from the tides. The Feed-in Tariff will allow us to reduce cost through cumulative deployment of tidal energy technology and be in a position to service markets globally including South East Asia.”
Back in Scotland, the PLAT-I platform is being prepared for shipping to Canada. The platform was towed away from the Connel Bridge site on the 7th of June by the 15m Meercat workboat “Venetia”, a confirmation of how the PLAT-I platform is lowering the bar in terms of the size of marine assets required to perform operations. Once alongside at Dunstaffnage Marina, the platform has been broken down into road transportable modules in less than a week and is expected to be Canada bound on a container ship by mid-July.