Scottish tidal turbine developer, Nautricity, has secured a grid connected tidal test berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), following successful sea trials at EMEC’s 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.
The company is now moving 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’s chief executive officer, said: “The 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 3 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 EMEC’s well-known grid-connected sites, EMEC also offers real-sea testing in the less challenging conditions of Scapa Flow and Shapinsay Sound.
Neil Kermode, EMEC’s managing director, said: “Accessible real sea testing enables marine energy developers and suppliers to learn lessons earlier, more cheaply, and provide a stepping stone towards larger scale projects – as demonstrated by Nautricity’s progression. Previous testing in Orkney will stand Nautricity in good stead – not just in terms of technology readiness level, but with the whole wider supply chain.
“It is great to see a tidal developer using component testing here at EMEC to inform full-system technology development, but even better to see that development being taken to the next stage back here at EMEC. We will be delighted to see the CoRMaT turbine a step closer to commercialisation with grid-connected performance testing.”