Global Maritime to provide moorings for OPERA project

Oceantec Energías Marinas' 1:25 scaled OWC prototype (Image courtesy of Oceantec Energies Marinas)

Global Maritime is to provide mooring and risk management support to the European Union’s OPERA project that aims to halve the cost of wave energy.

As part of the Open Sea Operating Experience to Reduce Wave Energy Cost (OPERA) project, Global Maritime will be responsible for providing mooring and risk management support to the 42 meter-tall oscillating water column wave energy converter (WEC) developed by Oceantec Energias Marinas.

The WEC will be tested at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (bimep) and is due to be operational in August 2016.

David Sutton, CEO of Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering, said: “For the first time, the wave energy industry will be able to access high quality, open-sea operating data, see some of the latest mooring and other technology innovations tested offshore, and look forward to long-term cost reductions of up to 50%.”

Oceantec’s WEC will use a novel shared mooring arrangement consisting of conventional tethers, designed to reduce the overall amount share anchors and reduce costs.

WECs in shared mooring arrangement (Photo: Global Maritime)
WECs in shared mooring arrangement (Image: Global Maritime)

Global Maritime will help ensure that the mooring system is robust, delivering telemetry and tension data, and carry out operational simulations, if required, the company informed.

As the project continues into phase two in August 2017, Global Maritime will then help support the testing and integrating of further cost reducing innovations into the WEC.

These include an elastomeric mooring tether, developed by the University of Exeter which is expected to reduce peak loads at mooring and hull connections. This will improve structural survivability and reduce mooring line strength requirements and costs, according to Global Maritime.

Other technologies that will be tested and de-risked through OPERA include a novel bi-radial turbine and new predictive control algorithms. The cost-reduction innovations will initially undergo laboratory testing at the Mutriku Shoreline Wave Power Plant in Spain.

Global Maritime is part of a 12-member consortium led by TECNALIA, the privately funded applied research and technological development center in Spain, which includes Oceantec Energias Marinas, bimep, Ente Vasco de la Energia (EVE), Iberdrola, DNV GL, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Exeter, Kymaner, Instituto Superior Técnico-IST, and University College Cork.

The program will last for three and a half years with the objective to progress offshore wave energy development, reduce costs, and ‘de-risk’ new technologies.

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