Ocean energy test centers connect in Canary Islands

International WaTERS delegates from France, Netherlands, US and UK visit PLOCAN (Photo: EMEC)

The International Wave and Tidal Energy Research Sites (WaTERS) network has held its fourth meeting in Canary Islands to discuss common challenges and collaborative opportunities.

Hosted by PLOCAN in Gran Canaria, the discussions focused on knowledge sharing within transnational research programs – including FORESEA, MaRINET2, Marinerg-i and MET-CERTIFIED – as well as looking at specific R&D areas that test centers can collaborate on to support the industry towards commercialization.

The fourth International WaTERS workshop brought together 17 delegates spanning ten test centers and eight countries.

Delegates were also treated to a visit to the PLOCAN multipurpose offshore platform, located in a 23 km2 marine test site, in which three wave energy devices have been already tested.

Neil Kermode, managing director of EMEC, said: “We set up International WaTERS as we think it’s vital for test centers around the world to collaborate and work to common standards. By developing joint research programs to assess the different environments developers testing with us are working in we make the most of the infrastructure already built.

“Working together will help push forward the industry a lot faster than if we all work in isolation. The first couple of meetings were more focused on building relationships and getting to know the various test sites, and, we’re now seeing joint test center projects in fruition, with an appetite to do a lot more together.”

Joaquin Brito, managing director of PLOCAN, said: “The network of marine energy test sites provides a crucial tool to accelerate the industrial roll-out of the technologies. Our best asset is to provide support and share the expertise of the network to the technological developers, enabling them to take advantage of new opportunities where they emerge.

“Marine energy will also be a novel opportunity for islands and outermost regions to improve energy security and create jobs.”

The International WaTERS initiative was launched in 2013 with the aim to identify common challenges and collaborative opportunities for test centers, enabling knowledge sharing and avoiding needless duplication of effort and resources.

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