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Content archived on 2024-04-19

A european wave energy pilot plant on Islay (U.K.)


Funding is sought to build a European shoreline oscillating water column wave energy pilot plant with an installed capacity of 600kw. Over a 51month period split into 3 phases the unit will be built and tested on the Isle of Islay in the UK close to the 75kW unit developed by Queen's University. The main objective is to provide a multi water column R&D facility free from commercial constraints for academic and industrial research teams in the European Community. It will provide an essential intermediate step in which the mechanical electrical equipment can be fully developed in an accessible environment before building plant offshore. The unit will comprise two concrete water columns located in a 'man made' recess in the coastline & a tapered entrance harbour to maximise wave excitation. Modular construction will enhance replication potential. In month 24 the 75kW turbine generator will be installed to provide initial electrical Production. In phase 3, three 200kW Wells turbine generators will be installed and connected to the national electrical distribution grid through an adaptable control system. The work will be undertaken by the experienced partnership of The Queen's University of Belfast, The Instituto superior Technico of Lisbon and University College Cork. The Irish firm of consulting engineers Kirk McClure Morton will prepare all the tender documents, supervise the construction work and assist with the project management. The civil engineering contract will be allocated by competitive tender while the mechanical electrical plant will be supplied on a design and build basis. Industrial collaboration is being sought with Cambridge Engineering Design who supplied the present 75kW machine and Howden Sirocco in the UK along with Mague in Portugal. The electrical connection for the full plant will be purchased from Scottish Hydro Electric Plc. They have already supplied a 240kVA connection to the existing plant and this will be utilised initially. Supplementary funding is being sought from the UK government who will assess its support in the light of its new renewable energy strategy currently under development. The pilot plant will produce electricity for 0.06 ECU/kWhr with considerable potential for cost reductions. Commercially wave stations could be deployed along the Western seaboard of Europe and its off-lying islands to tap an abundant renewable energy source. Application Worldwide will provide a valuable exp. potential

Call for proposal

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Queen's University of Belfast
EU contribution
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BT7 1NN Belfast
United Kingdom

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Participants (2)