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March 2017 Issue

Wind Lease Sale
Off North Carolina

A commercial wind lease sale of 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, will be offered March 16, 2017. The lease area begins about 24 naut. mi. from shore and extends 25.7 naut. mi. in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 naut. mi. in the north to 0.6 naut. mi. in the south.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has deemed nine companies qualified to participate in the lease sale: Avangrid Renewables LLC, Enbridge Holdings (Green Energy) LLC, Shell WindEnergy Inc., Northland Power America Inc., Wind Future LLC, Outer Banks Ocean Energy LLC, PNE Wind USA Inc., Statoil Wind US LLC, and wpd offshore Alpha LLC.


RTsys Sensors for
Sabella D10 Tidal Turbine
RTsys was selected to provide a sensor system for the Breton Sabella D10 tidal turbine, which will undergo further testing this spring in the Fromveur Passage, off the coast of Brittany, France.

The RTsys sensors conduct current and wave measurements, and the system includes underwater video cameras and hydrophones. The objective is to optimize tidal turbine operation by assessing the way it interacts with its environment, as well as any impacts. The sensors are placed on and around the tidal turbine, and the data are sent to the mainland for real-time monitoring.


Europe, China Collaborate
On Marine Renewables

The European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) wave and tidal energy experts in Orkney, Scotland, are building innovation links with China. Chinese academics invited EMEC and other U.K. industry experts to visit their developing “blue silicon valley” in Qingdao, discussing the creation of a Chinese version of EMEC: CMEC.

The Prosperity Fund project, supported by the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office and China Britain Business Council (CBBC), was set up to help progress policy support in China toward developing a demonstration site to facilitate innovation in wave and tidal energy. EMEC will provide feasibility studies around the creation of a CMEC facility as part of a new £200 million marine laboratory campus in Shandong Province, China. Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology will serve as the base for the project. An ocean energy demonstration site has already been identified.


Pulsus Tidal Turbine
Undergoes Force Testing

Norwegian Ocean Power has successfully trialed its Pulsus horizontal-axis, spiral-design tidal turbine as part of the development of its first commercial unit. The turbines were tested in Drammensfjorden, Norway, focusing on the composite structure and bearings.

The structure bends and flexes with tidal currents, which can produce significant turbulence and considerable upward and sideward forces, so the testing of uneven forces is key. The thrust bearings by Vesconite moved backward and forward during testing and eliminated the vibration as planned. The 0.5-m-diameter Vesconite bearings that were installed on each end of the horizontal unit also performed well in their ability to absorb vibration.

Norwegian Ocean Power’s turbine technology is to be installed in the sea of Norway, with commercial production of 1 TWh of energy per year for use in Norway. Turbine production is to start in 2017 and 2018, with Canada and the U.K. being the likely first markets.


WatchKeeper Buoy for
Polish Offshore Wind

AXYS Technologies Inc.’s WatchKeeper meteorological and oceanographic data buoy has been deployed 60 km off the north coast of Poland in the Baltic Sea. This buoy, procured by Polish developer Baltic Trade and Invest (BTI), will be used in an environmental impact and assessment campaign for an application for the offshore wind farm development FEW Baltic II.

The buoy will provide wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, directional waves, current speed and direction, conductivity, and water temperature in near real time via satellite telemetry.


Drone for Remote
Inspection, Safety

AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings Business, Barrier Group and DroneOps are collaborating to develop a drone for remote inspection of ballast water tanks and offshore wind farms. The project will use advanced virtual reality technology and semiautonomous operation of a drone to deliver safer, more accurate evaluations of ballast water tanks and other enclosed or difficult to access spaces/areas on vessels and offshore structures. Traditionally, these inspections are carried out by crew, surveyors or independent inspectors, which is risky and represents one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in the industry.

Routine maintenance via drone can be monitored remotely in real time by office-based staff, with instant feedback available to the vessel or offshore structure’s superintendent.

The drone will undergo flight trials at AkzoNobel’s U.K.-based coating test block and Barrier Group’s indoor training facility, with the drone’s completion and launch planned for October 2017.


Dudgeon Wind Farm
Now Producing Electricity

Up to 6,000 homes in the U.K. are now receiving electricity from the first producing wind turbine on Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm. When fully operational later in 2017, the farm will provide electricity to more than 400,000 homes.

After a successful installation of the first wind turbine in January, operator Statoil and partners Masdar and Statkraft were able to set the first turbine in production in February, delivering electricity to the U.K. national grid.

The Dudgeon Offshore Wind farm comprises 67 6-MW wind turbine generators with a total installed capacity of 402 MW producing 1.73 TWh per year. The project is part of Statoil’s strategy to gradually complement the oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions.


2017:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY
2016:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.