Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), renewable energy research, development, and innovation center, has been granted €9 million to build a pilot multi-use renewable energy-powered offshore platform for small islands.MaREI has said that the offshore platform, to be developed under the H2020 project MUSICA, would be “a decarbonizing one-stop-shop for small islands, including their marine initiatives (Blue Growth) and ecosystems.”
MUSICA which stands for Multiple Use of Space for Island Clean Autonomy will pilot a floating offshore platform which will provide 70% of the electricity and 100% of fresh water for a small island with up to 2000 inhabitants. The energy will be supplied via renewable energy and will be a combination of wind, PV and wave energy and the desalinated water will be powered by green renewable electricity, MaREI said.
“Small islands normally pay double if not triple the cost for electricity and water supply, and often have very poor or intermittent supply. This project will provide a cost-effective solution whilst also providing independence and autonomy and will demonstrate that floating multi-purpose platforms can share the same space and work synergistically together, sharing supply chains and reducing operating and maintenance costs and solving the increasing demand for space,” MaREI added.
Battery recharge spot for boats
Apart from electricity, the platform will also provide support for local aquaculture, trialing an offshore aquaculture cage near the platform. It will provide all the energy and feed for the cage to provide higher fish yields and an environmentally green product. Also, the provision of a floating refueling station for yachts and boats means that they can recharge their batteries and stock up with fresh water without having to go into a busy marina, and pay high fees.
MaREI’s Gordon Dalton who is leading the project said “a successful demonstration pilot of the MUSICA platform will place Ireland as the world leader in providing energy, water and aquaculture solutions for the important niche market of small island around the globe.”
The 5-year project which has 15 partners from 7 EU Member States will develop complete business plans to move to MUSICA to mass-market commercialization and will start by developing roadmaps for 3 trail case study islands: Malta, Canaries, and Chios in the Aegean.