Seatricity ponders decommissioning options at EMEC

Oceanus wave energy system at EMEC (Photo: Mike Brookes-Roper/EMEC)

Seatricity Scotland has conducted an analysis of the works required to decommission its legacy infrastructure at the EMEC site if a new project does not materialize due to lack of investment or other factors.

The analysis involves plans to decommission the infrastructure installed at the Billia Croo grid-connected wave energy test site in Orkney, in the case project is not forthcoming or infrastructure is not re-used by other developers at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The legacy infrastructure was used during Seatricity’s Oceanus wave energy converter testing in 2012-2013.

In the draft document, which still needs to be approved, decommissioning of the project will include disconnection and recovery of one remaining hydraulic pump from reaction blocks that are also planned for removal, recovery of the auxiliary mooring blocks, recovery of the main pipeline either by pulling from the beach head or using a vessel, and post-decommissioning seabed survey.

However, Seatricity Scotland continues to plan to install a demonstration array of its Oceanus wave energy converter technology at the site from 2017, subject to grant awards and other financing.

Planning considers a range of options, from single devices to deployment of up to 30 Seatricity wave energy converters with a combined total installed capacity of not more than 800kW, it is stated in the draft document.

“The key objective of this program is to demonstrate that in the event of a project not being realized in 2017, there is a safe, credible and costed plan for decommissioning the previously installed infrastructure and associated equipment. The programmer will be amended and updated as appropriate based on stakeholder feedback during the consultation periods in the lead up to decommissioning,” the document reads.

The analysis was undertaken following discussions with UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Marine Scotland.

Should the decommissioning go forward, the activities are expected to take place during 2018.

The Seatricity wave energy concept involves multiple floats travelling up and down with the waves, operating pumps to pressurize sea water, which is piped ashore to drive a standard hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity.

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