Tests Underway for Combined Wind and Wave Energy Platforms
Posted 18/09/2023 12:45
Wave Energy Scotland (WES), a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is currently conducting tests to assess the potential of floating platforms that can be utilized by both offshore wind and wave energy devices. These tests are being carried out at the University of Edinburgh’s FloWave facility.
The initiative follows a report by Offshore Wind Consultants (OWC) that explores the synergies between offshore wind and wave energy and the advantages of sharing infrastructure, services, and supply chains. The testing conditions have been designed to replicate the conditions of one of the offshore sites leased through the ScotWind program in the west of Scotland, which also has wave energy potential.
The testing involves multiple identical wave energy absorbers mounted on a semi-submerged, triangular floating platform. The absorbers are based on AWS Ocean Energy’s Archimedes Waveswing, a submerged wave power buoy funded through WES’s Novel Wave Energy Converter Programme. The platform concept aligns with many designs under development in the floating wind sector.
The outcomes of these tests will provide insights into the performance and physical interaction between multiple wave absorbers on a floating platform. The results will help determine the feasibility of sharing infrastructure between offshore wind and wave energy projects using versatile wind and wave platforms, which could enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
Elva Bannon, research and engineering manager with WES, emphasized the potential for collaboration and crossover between floating wind and wave energy, noting the need for research in this area to advance the understanding of versatile platform performance.
Additionally, Scottish Water has initiated a hydro energy generation scheme at Whiteadder Reservoir in East Lothian, believed to be the first of its kind in Europe. This scheme uses a siphon technology to draw water up through an intake, over the dam, through a hydro turbine, and back into the natural environment. It will generate green energy while controlling the reservoir's level, offsetting 30% of the power used by the local pumping station and reducing carbon emissions.
These initiatives align with Scotland's commitment to renewable energy and carbon reduction, with Scottish Water aiming to achieve net zero total emissions by 2040 and net zero operational emissions by 2030.