Displaying items by tag: Power from the Sea
#MANX FERRY – The IOM Today reports that the Manx Government is drawing up plans to ensure that any wind-farms built within the waters off the island would not affect ferry routes.
Work on the Isle of Man Marine Plan is under way and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's director of environment Martin Hall said it was important it was completed in a 'timely manner'.
One of the plan's objectives would be to identify current activities in Manx waters and safeguard their ongoing use. Mapping the location of navigation corridors, important natural areas and pipelines/cables will enable the island to identify potential wind farm sites that will not adversely affect current uses of the Manx marine environment, including ferry routes and fishing.
The comments come following criticism from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company over Centrica's plans for a wind farm in the Irish Sea, outside Manx waters. The Steam Packet says that Centrica plans to develop in the path of two routes: Douglas-Liverpool and Douglas-Heysham, in spite of complaints from the ferry operator. For much more on this story click HERE.
The Beaufort Laboratory, being built on a three-acre site next to the National Maritime College of Ireland on Haulbowline Island, is set to be completed by 2016.
And scientists at the €14 million lab have told Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte that it will be the largest marine renewable energy research facility in the world.
Expected to be a base for 135 researchers from University College Cork (UCC), the lab also hopes to attract the world's top researchers in marine energy to the area, with an aim to exploiting the potential for jobs in the fast-growing ocean energy sector.
The new lab forms part of the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) established to promote the country as a world-renowned research and development location, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
#POWER FROM THE SEA - An Irish firm has landed a contract to provide a wave device for a new offshore energy test site in Cornwall, Siliconrepublic reports.
Ocean Energy, which is based in Cork, will deploy its first full-scale wave energy device at Wave Hub - described as an 'electrical socket' for testing wave power technology - off Hayle in north Cornwall by the end of the year.
The technology behind the buoy-type device, which will cost €9 million, has been developed over the past three years via a quarter-scale prototype in Galway Bay.
Using the principle of the oscillating water column, the device works by channeling water through a submerged chamber that forces air through a turbine above the surface.
The full-scale unit is expected to generate enough electricity to power as many as 1,200 homes.
Siliconrepublic has more on the story HERE.
#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
#IMERC CONFERENCE - The recently established Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) which is to promote the country as a world-renowned research and development location, is to host next month its inaugural conference entitled 'Maritime Geostrategic Thinking for Ireland'.
Minster for Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. will address the conference at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), Ringaskiddy, Co, Cork which is to be held on Friday 9th March.
In addition to keynotes speakers addressing the conference are Glenn Murphy (IMDO), Commodore Mellett of the Naval Service, Anthony Gurnee from Ardmore Shipping, Helen Noble, Head of Maritime Law at Matheson Ormsby and Prentice and Professor D John Mangan from the University of Newcastle.
Below is a programme schedule of the conference and additional information and link.
Session 1: Fighting recession by supporting an export led economy
Session 2: Building maritime security capability in support of economic development
Session 3: Future of Maritime Ireland
Session 4: IMERC Industry Engagement
To make a booking and receive further details on the conference contact IMERC Tel: (021) 433 5717 or by clicking HERE.
IMERC is based on the campus grounds of NMCI which is located between the Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island and the neighbouring ferryport in Ringaskiddy.
Under phrase 1 of IMERC's campus development plans, it aims for the construction of the UCC National Beaufort Centre by May 2013. Phase 2 of the campus is for an extended maritime and energy science and commercial park located on the adjacent Port of Cork owned landbank.
#POWER FROM THE SEA - This morning the wind farm turbine installation vessel Sea Energy, departed Wicklow Bay having spent over a fortnight based in Wicklow Port, where her Danish crew celebrated Christmas Day, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Esbjerg registered vessel operated by A2 Sea, arrived in the week before Christmas to work at Airtricity's Arklow Bank Wind Farm, but the nature of the work was based on internal operations only at the seven turbine facility, which each structure scaling to a height of over 70 metres / 240 feet.
Upon completion of her work, she returned to Wicklow where her crew spent the festive season in port with a Christmas tree complete with lights! at the bow.
She remained in the harbour into the New Year and during the recent spate of heavy weather until finally departing yesterday on Little Christmas, where she overnighted in the bay.
With four towering supporting jack-up legs each 32 metres high, this enables her to carry out offshore crane operations with greater control. In addition the vessel is raised completely above the water to gain elevation to assist mounting the pre-assembled wind-turbine components from her deck cargo.
She can work in waters of up to 24 metres and as she rests on the sea-bed this provides a more stable working platform.
Sea Energy presented a distinctive profile while in port as she 'sat' close to the Packet Quay, as her jack-up legs make mooring ropes redundant.
The quay is the main commercial quay and during this week she vacated the berth to allow regular caller Scot Isles (2001/2,595grt) which arrived with a cargo of sawn packaged timber products from Scandinavia. Owned by Scot Line, the vessel remained in the port for two days and then departed for Warrenpoint.
The Wicklow Port Company also specialise in dry-cargoes, lead, and scrap-metal as previously reported, to read more click HERE.
It is somewhat unusual for vessel movements in Wicklow to berth outside the harbour piers, as in the case with Sea Energy.
She shifted berths to the seaward side of the West Pier and again she sat with jack-legs lowered in water depths of six metres, leaving a clearance of around two metres below the keel.
Although Arklow is closer to the wind-farm than Wicklow, Sea Energy's 3,332 gross tonnes is too large to be accommodated as the port on the River Avoca has a has lower water depth.
#POWER FROM THE SEA - The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is teaming with IBM in a new project to assess the noise levels of wave energy devices off the Irish coast.
The scheme will see an array of noise sensing equipment such as hydrophones deployed in Galway Bay to monitor the noise levels of wave energy conversion devices in real time, as well as map patterns of marine life in the area.
According to AOL Energy, noise pollution at sea is a chief concern, having a disturbing effect on fish migrations among other marine ecosystems.
The west of Ireland will prove an important case study in this regard, as it hosts one of the world's largest wave energy infrastructures.
"Underwater noise is a global environmental issue that has to be addressed if we are going to take advantage of the huge potential of ocean energy," said EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.
AOL Energy has more on the story HERE.
The largest state energy infrastructure project, connecting the Irish electricity grid and Great Britain advanced significantly today as work began to lay cables under the sea bed of the Irish Sea. The €600m East West Interconnector project is being developed by EirGrid – the independent electricity transmission system operator in the Republic of Ireland.
The Interconnector is essential strategic economic infrastructure linking Ireland to the much larger energy markets of Britain and Europe.
It involves the laying of 180 kilometres of undersea and approximately 80 kilometres of underground cables to enable the flow of electricity in both directions between Ireland and Great Britain. This means that when Ireland needs extra electricity it can import it but crucially, it opens a new export market for Ireland's abundant renewable energy.
With most of the underground cables now laid, the cable-laying ship the Nostag 10 anchored itself at North Beach, Rush Co. Dublin to lay the marine cables of the €600 million project partly funded by the European Union. This unusual vessel, off the North Dublin coast, is already attracting curious onlookers.
Yesterday the ESRI issued a report which confirmed that the creation of a single EU-wide electricity market offers significant benefits for Ireland. The report, entitled the Internal EU Electricity Market: Implications for Ireland concluded that 'the single EU electricity market should result in lower electricity prices and increased competition as suppliers from Great Britain and beyond will be able to enter the Irish market. This should spur efficiency and increase consumer choice.'
As the cable laying got underway, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD was present to observe this key milestone for the project with just one year to completion when trading will commence on this interconnector.
Commenting on the project, Minister Rabbitte said, "The interconnector will improve security of supply, as well as increasing competition and assisting in achieving our ambitious renewable targets. I am delighted that EirGrid are on track to complete the project within budget and on time, by the end of next year.
"Witnessing the laying of the marine cable across the Irish Sea is symbolic of linking Ireland, a geographically isolated Island, to the single European energy market which will ultimately benefit all electricity consumers and generators."
As the Nostag 10 makes its way across the sea, the cable will be carefully lowered into the water and laid in a narrow trench which will be opened and closed by a remote controlled vehicle operating on the sea bed. The cable laying work is expected to take approximately eight months to complete.
Andrew Cooke, EirGrid's Director of Grid Development, said "This is a very exciting stage in the project and probably one of the most challenging. Before work started, EirGrid carried out a detailed marine survey to identify a route for the undersea cable that would have the least impact on marine life.
"With over 600 people currently working on the project, it is great to see the interconnector cable finally beginning to be laid at sea. Europe's electricity future will be reliant on interconnector projects of this nature and currently EirGrid is investigating the feasibility of further interconnection to Europe."
The Interconnector is scheduled to be operational in late 2012 and will be capable of carrying power to supply the equivalent of 300,000 homes.
New Scientist has highlighted some of the latest technologies being developed to harness power from the sea.
Companies such as Pelamis Wave Power and Aquamarine Power are already testing prototypes of their so-called wave energy 'harvesters' - enormous machines that can capture the massive potential energy stored within ocean waves.
Pelamis' huge P2 is filled with state-of-the-art computers that allow programmers to control and update its operations on the fly, quickly taking advantage of changes in sea conditions to maximise energy production and increase efficiency.
The proof is in the pudding, as P2 can produce 750 kilowatts of power - twice as much as earlier prototypes.
Aquamarine's Oyster 800, meanwhile, can generate an incredible 800 kilowatts by way of a giant hinged flap that juts out of the water. Each passing wave closes the flap shut like a clamshell, with the resultant hydraulic pressure driving an onshore turbine.
"If you can get that sort of level of performance improvement then the economics suddenly start to look a lot more favourable," says The Carbon Trust's Stephen Wyatt.
New Scientist has more on the story HERE.
Belfast Harbour could potentially become one of the leading energy renewable hubs in the UK, when DONG Energy, a leading Danish energy firm, signed a letter of intent yesterday for an agreement to progress on a number of offshore wind farm projects in the Irish Sea.
In addition as part of the project, Belfast Harbour are to invest £40m in the development of a new 450-m long quay. The facility will be adjoined by a 50-acre logistics space on the southern shoreline of the port's docklands estate on Belfast Lough. The construction phase will create 150 jobs and up to 300 full time positions when the facility is completed, where the wind turbines and their foundations will be pre-assembled.
At that stage the large wind farm components will then be loaded onto specialist wind farm installation /construction vessels as depicted on the image by clicking here and to read further information on the overall project.
Attending the announcement which was held in Belfast Harbour Office, were representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive, Peter Gedbjerg, Vice President and UK Country Manager of DONG Energy, and Len O'Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour. The energy hub scheme represents one of the harbour's largest ever capital investment projects.