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Displaying items by tag: Commodore Mark Mellett

#NavalLEADER - Alan Shatter, Minster for Justice has promoted a Naval Service leader to the position of Defence Forces deputy chief of staff for the first time in the State's history.

Commodore Mark Mellett was confirmed in the new position by Cabinet today, the promotion is in recognition of the importance of the maritime economy and patrolling one of Europe's largest sea areas.

For more on this story Lorna Siggins of The Irish Times reports.

 

Published in Navy

#COMMAND CHANGEOVER CEREMONY– The offshore patrol vessel OPV L.E. Róisín (P51) arrived to Dun Laoghaire Harbour today for the official reopening of the town's maritime museum and follows a changeover command ceremony held on board the vessel in Dublin Port last Friday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At the ceremony the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Andrew Montague along with the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Commodore Mark Mellett presided over the command handover along Sir John Rogersons Quay.

This saw Lieutenant Commander Terry Ward, who is originally from Dublin, take over command from Lieutenant Commander Peter Twomey of the OPV which was adopted by the City of Dublin in 2000 and has maintained a strong connection with the capital.

The OPV departed on Sunday on a short patrol in the north Irish Sea until returning to Dublin Bay this morning. She berthed at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire Harbour where at the nearby National Maritime Museum of Ireland, senior officer ratings and a party of 20 crew members made a guard of honour for President Michael D. Higgins who officially reopened the €4m renovated building.

The President is the supreme commander in chief of the Defence Forces and also is patron to the Maritime Institute of Ireland which was established in 1941 and runs the maritime museum in Dun Laoghaire.

Published in Navy

#ADMIRAL BROWN – In addition to the 155th anniversary commemoration of the death of Admiral William Brown which was held in the Argentinian capital at the weekend, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, a second ceremony was held in Foxford, Co. Mayo, the birthplace of the admiral who founded the navy of the South American country.

In attendance were the Argentine Ambassador, Dr. Maria Bondanza, with Argentine Naval Attache, Group Captain Alejandro Amoros, and Irish Naval Service Commodore, Mark Mellett. For more about this story as reported by MayoToday click HERE.

Commodore Mellett who also hails from Co. Mayo was appointed Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service (FOCNS) following the retirement of Commodore Frank Lynch in December 2010.

The Mayo native will be addressing delegates this Friday at the inaugural IMERC Conference on Maritime Geostrategic Thinking for Ireland at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy.

IMERC which stands for the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster will host the conference in the college where guided tours of the facility will also be made available during the one-day conference. The conference is open to the public and free of charge, for more information including conference agenda click HERE.

Published in Navy

#ADMIRAL BROWN- As Wexford is to host The John Barry Maritime Festival this summer, the father of the US Navy and commodore is held in the same league of Admiral William Brown, who founded the Argentinian Navy, who was remembered in a ceremony over the weekend in Buenos Aires, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The commemoration was to mark the 155th anniversary of William Brown's passing which took place at the Recoleta Cemetery, which was headed by Vice Admiral Carlos Alberto Paz, Chief of Staff of the Argentine Navy.

Among those attending were the Irish Ambassador, Mr. James McIntyre, the Chairman of the National Brownian Institute, Prof. Emilia Menotti, the President of the Naval Club, Vice Admiral Eduardo R. Llambi (Ret.) and City Council Officials.

The Navy General Directorate for Education marching band was also present, as well as Officer Cadets from the Admiral Brown Naval Lyceum (Reserve Officers' Academy). The Irish flag was carried alongside the host country by officers of the HQ Security Marine Bn.

For more about the event which included Santiago L. Aversa who represented the Irish branch of the Maritime Institute of Ireland (click HERE) and where its maritime museum in Dun Laoghaire is due to reopen early next month as previously reported on Afloat.ie

In 2006 the Naval Service 'flagship' L.É. Eithne (whose adopted homeport is Dun Laoghaire) under the command of Commodore Mark Mellett, made a historic first for the Naval Service when visiting Argentina and other South American ports.

In the same year two identical statues of the admiral were unveiled, one in Dublin's Docklands at Admiral Brown Way and Westport, Co. Mayo where the admiral hailed from.

Admiral Brown won victories against the Spanish and Brazilian fleets and as such he is regarded as a national hero, where in excess of 1,000 streets, 400 statues and venues such as stadiums (including football teams) schools, several towns, and a major city bears his name.

Published in Navy

#NAVAL SERVICE-The Naval Service are considering wind-power in an effort to reduce soaring fuel costs using "kite sails", reports the Examiner.

Commodore Mark Mellett confirmed the navy was collaborating with Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC), UCC, and CIT to develop "kite sails" which would be used to save fuel when a ship was carrying out surveillance.

"The kites would be used to reduce our energy bills, as we use 40% of the fuel allocated to the Defence Forces," said the commodore. "They could provide us with a speed of up to eight knots, which is as fast as a normal trawler."

The sails will have an added hi-tech edge (fitted with sensors to enhance the ships' radar capacity) which the service hopes to sell to other navies around the world. To read more about this story click HERE

Published in Navy

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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