WES & EMEC gather Orkney supply chain lessons learnt

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Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has released the findings from their project with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) which seeks to capture the wealth of knowledge and experience amassed in the Orkney supply chain from testing wave energy devices in real sea conditions. 

Results from the project will help wave energy converter (WEC) developers check their readiness for deploying in real sea conditions by taking open-water testing into consideration at an early stage in their design process. The importance of budgeting for regulatory issues, the need for appropriate lifting points on a device, and the ability to reduce forecasting uncertainties through a process of refining and improving marine operations are just some examples of the arising lessons-learnt.

Five reports comprise the suite of documents produced. An overview report introduces the project approach, the participants, and summarizes the findings, with a further four detailed guidance documents focusing upon the topics of Compliance, Handling, Installation and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) respectively. These documents draw on the expertise and learning gained through frontline experience within Orkney’s well-established marine renewables supply chain.

Nine companies – Aquatera, Bryan J Rendall Electrical, EMEC, Green Marine, Leask Marine, Orcades Marine, Scotmarine, Sula Diving and the Xodus Group – with over 500,000 hours of marine renewables operations experience between them, participated in a series of workshops to gather their collective knowledge, and generate the guidance documents as a reference point for developers. The reports were reviewed by Offshore Subsea Consultancy Services Ltd to ensure operational accuracy.

“Information of this kind will be invaluable to WEC developers in the WES programme,” explains Tim Hurst, Managing Director, Wave Energy Scotland. “We’re delighted to capture the accrued knowledge from an experienced marine renewables industry and EMEC are well placed to add their considerable wisdom to this invaluable guidance. The study will help our programme participants to make informed decisions at earlier stages of their device development. Ultimately, this will help avoid costly errors at the deployment stage.”

Elaine Buck, EMEC’s Technical Manager, adds: “To date, EMEC’s test sites have played host to 19 developers and more than 100 wider research projects. Orkney’s supply chain companies have been instrumental in those activities, and we have drawn upon all that experience in this project. The input we’ve gathered is unprejudiced in drawing together both the positive and negative lessons learnt, and covers a depth of expertise captured within each of the participating companies. By cataloging some of this learning we hope the next developers on site can de-risk and accelerate their plans, as well as achieve cost reduction, armed with guidance based on hard-won experience.”

The reports are available on request from Matthew Holland at WES – email: wes@hient.co.uk.


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