SME Completes First PLAT-O Sea Trials

Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has successfully executed its first round of sea trials with its tidal energy platform, PLAT-O.

PLAT-O was launched from the company’s facility in Venture Quays, East Cowes, Isle of Wight and towed to the test site at Yarmouth. Once at the site

PLAT-O was submerged to installation depth and a series of tests were run. PLAT-O was successfully resurfaced and towed back to East Cowes, where it will be prepared for its next series of trials.

The marine operations were run using small vessels, demonstrating that a step change reduction in the cost of installing tidal energy devices can be achieved.

The tidal energy industry has struggled with high costs for installation and maintenance, but SME is demonstrating that by using its innovative platform which is moored under the surface of the water, these costs can be significantly reduced.

SME believes that the results of the sea trial provide increasing confidence in the potential for tidal streams to provide a commercially viable source of renewable energy.

Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME, says: “After this weekend’s operations I am confident that PLAT-­O provides the industry with a new approach which reduces the costs and risks associated with delivering tidal energy considerably. Over the next few months we will be ramping up the time that PLAT-­O spends at site, and running a series of tests which will culminate in the installation of PLAT-­O at a more aggressive tidal site and generating power to the grid.”

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