PLAT-I: Renewable Energy for Canada
Sustainable Marine Energy is preparing to ship the PLAT-I tidal energy platform from Connel in Western Scotland to Grand Passage in Nova Scotia.
Sustainable Marine Energy’s (SME) PLAT-I tidal energy platform hosting four SCHOTTEL HYDRO SIT 250 turbines has completed the first phase of its testing program at Connel, on the West coast of Scotland. The Company is now preparing to ship the platform to Nova Scotia and install it for a second phase of testing. Having proven the installation, operation and performance aspects of the platform, this second phase of testing will concentrate on proving performance in the harsher climate of Canada while also conducting environmental monitoring.
Black Rock Tidal Power, Inc. (BRTP) has applied to the Nova Scotia Department of Energy for permission to install the platform at Grand Passage for a minimum trial period of 3 months.
“PLAT-I is graduating from Scotland to Canada, which is an important start to the export story for the Scottish marine energy industry," said Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME. "It also represents a change of gear for Sustainable Marine Energy, we started as an R&D company and are rapidly changing into a project delivery company based in Scotland.”
“This has demonstrated by what our team has achieved in little more than 12 months. We have consented a new site, designed and built a new platform and have successfully run our complete testing program in record time. I am grateful to the local community in Connel who hosted the first PLAT-I test, and very excited about what the next 12 months holds for us in Nova Scotia.”
The PLAT-I platform was designed with support from Innovate UK and DFID under the Energy Catalyst program. The testing program, funded by Scottish Enterprise, has successfully validated the platform and power generation technologies. All systems performed as expected allowing the key advantages of the PLAT-I system to be proven. From the outset low cost assembly and marine operations have been a key design driver with both of these being demonstrated in the Connel testing program.
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 BRTP for this follow up project. 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.
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 June 7th by the 15m Meercat workboat “Venetia”. The platform is expected to be Canada bound on a container ship by mid-July.