MeyGen to carry out subsea noise studies at 400MW tidal site

UK tidal power group MeyGen has hired Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime (KM) to carry out underwater noise studies as part of its 400MW marine renewables development in the Pentland Firth, off Scotland.

The assignment will see KM working in the firth’s Inner Sound region using measurements from prototype tidal devices to assess their potential effects on marine life.

KM is already helping MeyGen to monitor the progress of turbine suppliers’ trials at the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) in Orkney, Scotland.

“The results of the underwater noise impact studies being carried out by Kongsberg Maritime at Emec will affect how the devices are positioned on the seabed [at the MeyGen project site] to deliver optimum power while having minimal impact on marine life,” says KM’s general manager for offshore, David Shand.

The staged MeyGen development is targeting full installation by 2020, beginning with a 20MW pilot made up of a combination of turbines from Atlantis Resources and Rolls-Royce-TGL.

The project site, which is spread over a 3.5 sq km area of the Pentland Firth between the north coast of Scotland and the island of Stroma in water depths of between 20 and 40 metres, is viewed by many as the “crown jewel” of the region, with average currents of four-metres per second.

The MeyGen consortium comprises generation company International Power, investment bank Morgan Stanley and Atlantis Resources.

In a separate deal, German certification body Germanischer Lloyd will run the rule over Japanese industrial giant Kawasaki Heavy industries’ (KHI’s) new tidal-energy turbine prototype, which is line for testing at Emec.

GL Renewables Certification (GL RC) will assess the 1MW device to check it is up to spec in terms of design, fabrication, installation and operation.

The three-bladed, horizontal-axis turbine is mounted on the seabed using a gravity base foundation.

The system is currently under development at Tokyo-based KHI’s Akashi facility.


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