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March 2011 Issue

DCNS Acquires Stake in OpenHydro
DCNS (Paris, France) and OpenHydro (Dublin, Ireland) recently signed a strategic agreement to combine their marine engineering strengths in the tidal energy market, DCNS announced in January. As part of the agreement, DCNS has acquired an eight percent holding in OpenHydro for an investment of €14 million.

During the past year, DCNS has provided support to OpenHydro for the delivery of its next major project for Paris-based Électricité de France. This project will see OpenHydro supply and install four large turbines off the Paimpol-Bréhat coast in Brittany to create the world’s first grid-connected tidal farm.

“DCNS will support OpenHydro to promote and construct tidal turbine farms by making available technical and industrial resources,” Frédéric Le Lidec, director of DCNS’ Marine Renewable Energy Incubator, said.

“DCNS has a tremendous heritage of working in the marine environment and is one of the world’s foremost marine engineering companies,” Brendan Gilmore, chairman of OpenHydro, said.

DCNS said it is exploring the entire spectrum of marine renewable energy technologies, including floating offshore wind farms, marine turbines, ocean thermal energy conversion and wave energy.


Lloyd’s Register Certifies OPT Wave Power Device
Pennington, New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) announced in January that it has achieved an independent certification for its utility scale PowerBuoy®, the PB150, by Lloyd’s Register Group (London, England).

The certification confirms that the PB150 design complies with the requirements of Lloyd’s 1999 Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Floating Offshore Installations at a Fixed Location.

“Ocean Power Technologies is the first wave-energy device developer that has approached Lloyd’s Register for its assurance services,” Ross Wigg, renewables leader at Lloyd’s Register, said. “The process included detailed design analysis and appraisals, including the PB150’s structure, hydrodynamics, mooring and anchoring.”

“This is a major milestone in the commercialization of our PowerBuoy technology,” Charles F. Dunleavy, chief executive officer of OPT, said.

In July 2007, OPT announced that its PowerBuoy interface with the electrical utility power grid had been certified as compliant with international standards. Intertek Testing Services provided testing and evaluation services to certify that OPT systems comply with designated national and international standards, including UL1741 and IEEE1547, OPT said.


First US Commercial Tidal Power Plant Proposed for New York
Verdant Power (New York, New York) filed an application in December with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that would allow the company to install up to 30 new tidal power turbines in the East Channel of the East River in New York. If approved, the project would be the first tidal power plant in the U.S. licensed to transmit energy onto the national grid.

The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project is Verdant Power’s effort to commercialize its “Free Flow” kinetic hydropower system, which utilizes three-bladed turbines deployed in fast-moving tides and rivers to generate energy. From 2006 to 2008, the company successfully demonstrated a Free Flow system comprised of six full-scale turbines, delivering energy to businesses in New York City with no power quality problems, the company said.

The proposed pilot project involves Verdant Power installing a fifth-generation Free Flow system. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided partial funding for this advancement, specifically the design and testing of a new composite turbine blade in partnership with the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.

The license application has been submitted under FERC’s Hydrokinetic Pilot Project Licensing Procedures. Verdant Power conducted environmental monitoring of the Free Flow system during the six-turbine demonstration, developing significant environmental data on the technology that showed no evidence of increased fish injury or mortality in the demonstration area, the company said. Verdant Power would continue environmental monitoring plans, developed in conjunction with federal and state resource agencies, during the proposed pilot project to study any impacts of the larger field, which is planned for incremental installation beginning late this year, pending approvals.


Companies Meet to Discuss Offshore Wind Supply Chain
Despite a buoyant European offshore wind market, developers are facing purchasing headaches due to the limited number of suppliers in the offshore wind field, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

The EWEA says 9.3 gigawatts of new wind power capacity was installed in the European Union during 2010, with offshore wind power installations growing 51 percent in 2009. In order to continue this progress, supply chain difficulties must be addressed, the EWEA said.

To this end, companies such as Vattenfall Wind Power AB (Stockholm, Sweden), DONG Energy (Fredericia, Denmark), Mainstream Renewable Power (Dublin, Ireland), Alstom Wind (Barcelona, Spain) and other offshore wind industry companies met this month in London, England, to discuss, debate and appraise the latest offshore supply chain strategies to reduce costs, optimize efficiency and improve overall return on investment.

The direct focus of the Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Conference is to build a confident and robust offshore wind supply chain for timely and cost-effective project delivery. The agenda focused on providing best practice steps to procurement strategies, effective contract management, recruiting and training a fully compliable workforce, and ensuring a reliable supply of major components, the EWEA said.


2012:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV
2011:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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