The Netherlands turns tide

A consortium of nine organizations including Bluewater Energy Services, Damen Shipyards Group, Van Oord and the Dutch Tidal Testing Centre have partnered to deploy a trial floating tidal energy platform in the Wadden Sea.

It will mark the first time a floating tidal platform will be used to generate electricity in the Dutch grid, and is expected to be operational 1H 2015, the group says.

The 200kW-turbine modularized platform will be moored off the island of Texel in The Netherlands using what the partnership describes as a new type of permanent mooring lines. It will serve as trial for remote locations such as Indonesia, the Philippines, or in the Pacific.

“This platform can be shipped and installed anywhere in the world to provide clean electricity in remote areas and small islands, replacing expensive and polluting diesel generators,” says Allard van Hoeken, head of new energy at Bluewater Energy Services. “This smaller test platform, while ready-to-use in remote locations, is also a stepping stone for our larger 2MW platform development.”

The Texel platform is smaller, simpler version of Bluewater’s Tidal Energy Converter (BlueTEC), a floating support platform that houses most of its critical equipment above the waterline to allow access for repairs and maintenance.

“Together with Bluewater, we have adapted our modular barge product to a modular tidal power generation platform that can be shipped as containers to any location in the world,” says Arnout Damen, chief operating officer of Damen Shipyards. “After container transport, the modules can be assembled to shipbuilding quality vessels.”

The Texel and BlueTEC platforms can be assembled locally and towed to location.

Companies participating in the cooperation are: Bluewater, Damen, Van Oord, Tocardo, Twentse Kabel Fabriek, Vryhof, The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Nylacast, and the Dutch Tidal Testing Centre.

Earlier this year, Bluewater and Siemens’ Marine Current Turbines announced a partnership to jointly develop a 2MW floating tidal current turbine called SeaGen F, also a first of its kind at its install site: Canada's Bay of Fundy. BlueTEC will also serve as its foundation; development plans called to adapt the platform to accommodate the SeaGen nacelle and power train.

Rendering of the BlueTEC platfrom from Bluewater. 

Read more: 

Biggest tidal array gets funding

Tidal energy projects inch forward


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