On energy storage projects coming online in 2016

From liquid air to supercapacitors, energy storage is finally poised for a breakthrough D.Carrington, The Guardian

Information not directly about offshore renewable energy, but an essential requirement for safe and sustainable energy infrastructure and, together with renewable energy sources and energy saving, part of the solutions to the decarbonisation problems we face.

OTEC developments from OES

Among news on wave and tidal developments around the world from Ocean Energy Systems, some information on OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion) systems

The following are extracts from their executive committee meeting held in Mexico on November 2015. Further information on the meeting in their newsletter

CHINA: A R&D project on OTEC on Xisha Islands was initiated by NOTC in April 2015.

JAPAN: Okinawa OTEC plant of 100 kW has been operating continuously, grid-connected, on Kume Island for almost two years. There has been a close collaboration between this project and the OTEC project in Hawaii conducted by Makai Ocean Engineering at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). In August this year Japan signed a MoU with USA, during the dedicated ceremony of the Makai OTEC plant to celebrate the beginning of power production at their facility. Both the Okinawa and Makai OTEC demonstration facilities are providing valuable data and this is seen as an opportunity for combined US and Japanese experience on OTEC developments.

THE NETHERLANDS: There are relevant R&D activities in OTEC and Salinity gradients: A Dutch company named Bluerise, a spin-off company from Delft University of Technology, is developing a project on OTEC near the Caribbean Island of Curacao. REDstack is conducting a salinity gradient project of 15 kW using reverse electro dialysis.

Three WEC full size prototypes lined up for deployment at WETS, Hawaii

And now some good news:

Three wave energy converters developers are getting ready to deploy their full scale prototypes at the Oahu, Hawaii, USA wave energy test site (WETS) after receiving significant funding from USA Energy Department. They are:

Oceanlinx WEC enters liquidation

Difficult to be positive about the WEC sector outlook these days.

In the last few weeks we had Pelamis in administration, then Aquamarine power downsizing and now Oceanlinx entering liquidation.

We knew Oceanlinx was struggling. Recovering after that serious incident early this year – when their full scale prototype sank during deployment – was clearly a massive challenge. Sadly they didn’t succeed.

It is critical to ensure that all the R&D work doesn’t get wasted. Pelamis assets are now with Wave Energy Scotland a government agency with the objective of encouraging innovation and/through collaboration between developers, engineers and academia. Where will Oceanlinx assets and IP end up?

MeyGen: a very large tidal array project in the Pentland Firth, UK – Maritime Journal

The first phase of the MeyGen project – scheduled during 2015 – includes the installation on the seabed of four 1.5MW turbines and onshore infrastructure. The project aim is to install a total of over 250 turbines in the Pentland Firth generating nearly 400MW.

It is run by MeyGen Limited (owned by Atlantis Resources) and funded by a syndicate including: Atlantis; the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change; the Crown Estate; Scottish Enterprise; Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Further project partners (supply chain) include ABB, Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, Global Energy Group and James Fisher Plc


Germany: Share of energy generated from renewables keeps rising – striking numbers

Not strictly on marine renewables, but few points worth keeping in mind:

On May 11th, 2014 just after 12.00 hours, 67% of total generated electricity in Germany was coming from wind and PV. ThinkProgress gives a 74% share of total energy demand from renewables that – I suppose – is an estimate that accounts for all renewables as well as non-electric energy demands.

This is in a specific day (a Sunday!) and time, but also impressive is the day average (rather than peak) : 48% of electricity produced in Germany on May 11 was from renewables. As well as noting that both on 09th and 10th  of May renewables were above 40% day average.

As stated in the article, it is another demonstration that

a modern electricity system such as the German one can already accept large penetration rates of variable but predictable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar PV power

…as well as tidal and wave , of course

WindFloat floating wind – US DoE supports planned wind farm deployment offshore Oregon coast

WindFloat Pacific Project receives significant support from U.S. Department of Energy.

The plan is for five WindFloat 6 MW floating wind turbines to be deployed offshore the Oregon coast

Principle Power, Inc. (Principle Power) is pleased to announce The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today selected the WindFloat Pacific project for up to $47 million in matching grant funding to accelerate development of the 30-megawatt floating offshore wind farm proposed for the deep waters off Coos Bay, Oregon. […]