The Basque Energy Cluster led an exploratory five-day mission to the United States and Canada at the beginning of October, together with the rest of the members of the ELBE alliance: AREG, De Blauwe Cluster, Offshoreväst and Offshore Denmark.
The visit, which took place from October 1 to October 5, was focused on the three emerging marine energies – floating wind power, wave power and current power – in the north of the American continent.
According to the Basque Energy Cluster, the mission resulted in new contacts and potential collaboration initiatives for Basque companies. Over the next few weeks, members will receive a report including the main conclusions of the exploratory mission and the presentations that took place in the different sessions and meetings.
During the first two days in Washington DC, the delegates met with representatives from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, responsible for the leasing processes of the offshore areas for wind power in the United States; the Department of Energy, which informed the ELBE consortium about the most relevant aspects of the current American R&D programmes in relation to offshore wind power and ocean energy; and with the American Wind Energy Association, in order to review the status and future of the offshore wind power sector in the United States.
For the rest of the week, the delegation divided into two groups, one travelling to the west coast of the United States, where it had the opportunity to discover the state and expectations of floating wind power in California, through Principle Power, as well as the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, which collaborate in the development of a floating farm of 100-150 MW on the Californian coasts. It later visited Seattle to discover the plans for the development of a tidal energy test site first hand through the Pacific Marine Energy Center, an alliance between the University of Washington, Oregon State University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which has the backing of 35 million dollars from the federal government
The other group travelled to Canada, more specifically to Halifax, in the province of Nova Scotia, epicentre of world development of current energy, where meetings were held with Marine Renewables Canada, Offshore Energy Research in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Department of Energy, Nova Scotia Business Inc., and Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), the country’s pioneering centre in this field, with five areas prepared to host converters of up to 5 MW, which have now been reserved for the forthcoming years. The trip to Canada ended in Ottawa, where Natural Resources Canada presented the Canadian marine renewable energies support ecosystem to the consortium, with initiatives such as the Emerging Renewable Power Program, supporting demonstration projects, or the Clean Growth Hub, unique access window to the Canadian Government for clean technology companies.
Source: Basque Energy Cluster