Europe will contribute €5.6 million to the MET-CERTIFIED project to accelerate the deployment of marine energy projects through its Interreg 2 Seas Programme.
MET-CERTIFIED project, which stands for ‘Development of International Standards and Certification Schemes for Marine Energy Technologies’, was given the green light in July 2016 by the Interreg 2 Seas Monitoring Committee.
The project aims to increase the adoption of insurable and therefore bankable marine energy projects through the development of internationally recognised standards and certification schemes, and by testing and verifying technologies against International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for marine energy converters.
Peter Scheijgrond, MET-CERTIFIED Project Manager, said: “Certification can help to reduce perceived risks of the technologies in terms of performance and structural integrity, and thus helps to attract debt financing and make export much easier. At present no certification scheme for marine energy have been developed and implemented by all main stakeholders in a consistent way. The expectation is that it will come into existence over the next 3 years under the umbrella of the IEC. Therefore the timing of MET-CERTIFIED is very favourable.”
MET-CERTIFIED brings together partners from 4 European countries to advance the marine energy sector in the 2SEAS region, including Dutch Tocardo Tidal Power, Tidal Testing Center as project coordinator, and NEC; UK’s European Marine Energy Center, Lloyd’s Register EMEA, Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre, and DNV GL; French IFREMER; and Belgian Regional Development Agency West Flanders, and Ghent University.
“With the funding we can actively involve stakeholders around certification, from banks and insurers to consenting authorities, end-users, test facilities and classification bureaus. We will start with verifying existing pilot projects against the IEC standards. For example the tidal power plant in the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge barrier will be used as a reference case for certification. By applying the standards and certification schemes on such projects we will receive valuable feedback to improve the IEC products,” said Scheijgrond.
The next step for the project, added Scheijgrond, will be to go through the process of certification from concept to construction to installation of a full-scale floating platform for tidal turbines, which is expected to result in the development of robust standards and certifications schemes for the sector, and reduce the perceived risk associated with marine energy projects.
Interreg 2 Seas is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and has a total of €241 million to co-finance projects in the 2014 – 2020 period.
In addition to receiving funds from the Interreg 2 Seas, MET-CERTIFIED has also been supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, the provinces of South and North Holland and the Belgian Province of West Flanders.