OES: Progress on open sea testing

Worldwide ocean power installed capacity 2015
Worldwide ocean power installed capacity 2015

Ocean Energy Systems (OES) has issued the Annual Report for 2015 that presents an overview of the activities undertaken within OES in 2015. Take a look at the list of some of OES member countries’ progress related to open sea testing infrastructure.

Several countries are working to advance research in open sea test sites by building the capability, infrastructure, and strategic partnerships to assist the private sector on the path to commercialization.

The development of sea testing facilities for different stages of the development process is seen as a typically valuable measure at governmental level, OES report states.

Such infrastructure encourages ocean energy development by enabling practical experience of installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning activities for full scale prototypes and farms, as well as on services and streamlining procedures of installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning activities for fullscale prototypes and farms, as well as on services and streamlining procedures.

Work is under way on several marine energy infrastructures. Several technologies are progressing into the open sea and others are very close to be deployed.


A sea test facility was implemented at approximately 1 km from the Harbour of Ostend, not yet grid connected. Over the last year, a 1:4 scale prototype wave energy converter Laminaria has been tested at the sea testing site and a new deployment at EMEC is now planned for 2017.


The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s research centre for tidal current energy, located in the Bay of Fundy. In addition to the 17.5 MW already approved in 2014 (4 berths), Nova Scotia announced an agreement with DP Energy to install a 4.5 MW tidal current project at a 5th berth.

Feasibility and impact studies to expand the onshore electrical infrastructure to accommodate up to 20 MW started in 2015. Canada also established a Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre (CHTTC) in Manitoba, in the Winnipeg River, to test river current technologies. In 2015, 4 turbines were tested there. The 20 MW Annapolis Royal tidal barrage power plant commissioned in 1984 continues to operate today.


In China, three test sites are being developed: a small scale test site in Weihai Shandong province, a tidal energy full scale test site in Zhoushan Zhejiang, initiated by China Three Gorges Corporation, and a wave energy full scale test site in Wanshan Guangdong.

The upgrade of Jiangxia Tidal Power Plant from 3.9 MW to 4.1 MW was completed in August 2015. Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC) with China Shipping Industry Co. has deployed their 100 kW Sharp Eagle Wanshan converter in November 2015. There are several research projects on wave and tidal energy progressing to sea trials. Further the concept of hybrid power stations (combining ocean, wind and solar energy) continues to be developed.


In Denmark, the Danish test site for Wave Energy Conversion (DanWEC) includes two sites, a benign site in Nissum Bredning and an exposed site at Hanstholm. Two wave rider buoys have been launched at DanWEC and a seabed survey has been carried out. Wave Piston was deployed at Hanstholm during the summer of 2015.


The Nemos prototype has been tested at the Nissum Bredning test site in Denmark since August 2015, feeding energy into the grid. Another wave energy developer, SINN Power GmbH, announced, in late 2015, that their first wave power module was successfully installed on the Island of Crete, Greece.

In addition to these projects, major German utilities are active in the ocean energy sector with test installations and prototypes around Europe.


In Korea feasibility studies for test beds for wave and tidal energy have been carried out and it is expected that in 2016 the construction of a wave energy test bed of 5 MW capacity with 5 berths will begin. In 2015 a new wave energy pilot plant – INWave – developed by INGINE Inc. was installed in Jeju costal water, and is expected to be connected to local grid by mid-2016.

The design of an active-controlled tidal energy converter developed by KIOST was completed in 2015 and will soon be tested at sea. Further much activity was going on at the 200 kW OTEC plant built in December 2014.


Runde Environmental Centre (REC), located on Runde Island on the Norwegian west coast, can accommodate wave energy devices for testing at several sites. One of the sites is now equipped with a sea cable to grid connection to shore.

The Norwegian developer Havkraft finalized their prototype testing of the Havkraft Wave Energy Converter (H-WEC) in real sea environment at Stad in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway, in 2015, with over 4500 running hours and is now implementing the concept into offshore aquaculture and other applications. A number of wave and tidal projects have made progress, preparing to be tested at sea in the next years.


In Portugal, Enondas, a subsidiary of the Portuguese Grid Transmission System Operator (REN), holds a 45- year lease for 320 square km of seabed, since 2010, for the development of wave energy projects. However, there has been no progress regarding the development of infrastructures.

Pico Plant, owned by WavEC, in Azores, continued operational in 2015 delivering electricity to the grid. After a successful series of tests, WaveRoller demonstration project in Peniche, is now developing a new unit, first of kind of the array.


There are recent initiatives led by ERI@N to develop test centres in Singapore for wave and tidal current projects. The Sentosa Tidal Test Site is one of these test sites to provide opportunities to develop local technologies to harness the energy available in the narrow channel between Singapore and Sentosa. The development of solutions suited for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies has been also promoted in Singapore.


Spain offers three test sites for wave energy testing including the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (bimep), an open sea test facility promoted by EVE (the Basque Energy Agency) and IDAE (Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) in the Basque Country, which was officially inaugurated in July 2015. OCEANTEC, a Spanish company with two shareholders (Iberdrola and TECNALIA) was awarded a €2.5 million contract by EVE in November 2015 to test a wave energy prototype at Bimep.

After the start-up of bimep, EVE is giving Mutriku’s wave power plant a new use as test site. The new use is compatible with the main activity of the plant that is to generate electricity from wave energy. This installation has achieved a cumulative production of over 1 GWh after 4 years of continuous operation.

The third one, PLOCAN on Canary Islands includes a marine area of 23 square km from the coast to 600 m water depth. The submarine electrical infrastructure is still in the design stage expected to be ready in 2017. During 2015, two wave energy devices were installed and tested at Plocan site, Canary Islands: the W1 prototype developed by the Spanish company Wedge Global, and Penguin II prototype developed by the Finish company Wello installed in September 2015.


In Sweden, Lysekil wave power research site was grid connected during 2015. Another test site in Sweden is the Söderfors marine currents research site. Both sites have devices in the water and are operated by Uppsala University. During 2015, the Sotenäs project situated at the Swedish west coast progressed: 36 generators were in place and the subsea generator switchgear was deployed and connected to the Swedish national grid. Several other Swedish developers have made progress during the year and are preparing for demonstration in the ocean, primarily outside Sweden.

United Kingdom

UK has world-class facilities – EMEC, WaveHub, FaBTest, Narec and the testing tanks at University of Edinburgh and Plymouth University – to support the continuing development of the wave and tidal stream sectors.

Important achievements in UK are the beginning of the construction of the world’s first multi-turbine tidal stream array project MeyGen Phase 1A, tidal stream developer Atlantis’ acquisition of Marine Current Turbines and the successful deployment of Tidal Energy Ltd’s DeltaStream device in Ramsey Sound, Wales.

First pre-commercial wave array projects are progressing at the Wavehub: the 10 – 15 MW CETO project developed by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, the 10 MW Fortum project and the 10 MW Seabased wave energy technology project.

The United States

Testing infrastructure and instrumentation is one major focus area for the Water Power Program. Several test sites for wave, tidal and river currents and OTEC are being developed with support from US Department of Energy. In 2015, the Azura wave energy prototype from Northwest Energy Innovations was installed at the Navy’s WETS in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) deployed its RivGen turbine in the Kvichak River, in Alaska.

Furthermore, a number of deployments in US have been announced by developers, including the Ocean Energy (OE) USA, Resolute Marine Energy, Fred Olsen and Columbia Power Technologies.

The latest year-end report from OES, published today, April 22, 2016, not only covers analyses of current member countries but this year invites key players in international funding to discuss all aspects of the finance and funding initiatives required to drive the industry forward.

Source/Images: OES Annual Report 2015

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