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Demonstration of Integrated Solution for offshore Tocardo Tidal power plants.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InToTidal (Demonstration of Integrated Solution for offshore Tocardo Tidal power plants.)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-09-30

Tocardo International has in the past ten years developed a technology for tidal turbines for generating tidal power from flowing water. These turbines, which are at TRL7-8, can be installed with dedicated foundations in small scale applications for rivers and near-shore locations. However, the large commercial target market for tidal energy is in offshore application, for which solutions are required that include low upfront investments (CAPEX), which have low maintenance and operation costs (OPEX) and which produce a large amount of kWh. For this offshore tidal power market, Tocardo International has developed an integrated solution which fulfils these requirements and has the potential to be the industry leader in this field.

The InToTidal project will deliver a cost-effective array and hence will demonstrate pathways to reduce the cost of (renewable) energy. It is expected that by this project, tidal energy will become more commercially attractive for investors. The action contributes to the strengthening the European industrial technology base in the ocean energy field, thereby creating growth and jobs in Europe.

The overall objective of the InToTidal project is to execute the last step of the development and demonstration pathway for an integrated solution which incorporates a Universal Floating System (UFS) for offshore tidal energy production, making it ready for successful commercial application.
With a large market potential and strong competitive position, Tocardo is able to grow into a strong and successful company with annual turnover of more than 180 Mio Euro per year within 3 years (providing work to 60 own employed FTE’s in 2020) and growing towards a >1 billion Euro turnover in 2025 providing jobs for 600 own personnel in 2025 as well as over 1000 jobs in the supply chain.
The InToTidal project is a tidal energy power plant project to demonstrate at full-scale (via sub-system testing and duration complete system testing) that the LCoE (Levelised Total Cost of Energy) of free-flow tidal energy can give a positive commercial business case for the tidal feed-in tariff regimes currently applicable. This is achieved by a combination of significantly improving the energy yield of the turbines, reducing costs for mooring and anchoring systems and providing a highly reliable power export umbilical solution. The demonstration project is comprised of the sub-objectives that together support the main objective. The progres thus far on these sub-objectives is as follows:

1. Validation testing of turbine energy yield enhancements.
• New control system tested in sheltered water test programme, elevated load factors achieved, so positive result to feed into control of UFS
2. Installation and validation of a low-load mooring system.
• Gravity based system using synthetic mooring lines demonstrated in sheltered water testing. Ease of installation and resilience of moorings proven, ready for upscaling to UFS
3. Installation and validation of low-cost anchoring systems.
• Geotechnical and design requirement report produced
4. Installation and validation testing of maintenance-free dynamic umbilical system.
• Umbilical handling strategy identified, and scale test plan created
5. Validation of installation and service methods for a floating tidal turbine foundation solution.
• Installation and maintenance of demonstration scale device in sheltered water shown to be cost effective and efficient
6. Proof testing of complete floating tidal energy power plant at full scale.
7. Full circle correlation of modelling, scaled tank testing and full scale testing to improve future design models.
• Several successful tank test programmes have been completed, validating much of the conceptual work done by project partners in terms of moorings and design of UFS
• Further tank testing has been planned and scheduled
The project fits very well under the Fast Track to Innovation Work programme:
• The innovative integrated concept for harvesting tidal power is unique, innovative and in the final stage of development. The turbine technology has already been proven in other applications and the basis for the technology to be demonstrated in this project builds on previous field testing experience. The turbines have proved stable and reliable operation, showing that Tocardo’s power take off technology is already a relatively mature product (TRL level 7-8). Improvements and optimisations that will further increase the yield of the turbines are being prepared and will be demonstrated in this project.
• The InToTidal project encompasses the final development step to be ready for market and meet the technical requirements for large volume manufacturing. The most important aspect to achieve in this project are to prove that installation and operation meet the business case requirements and provide a positive business case for Tocardo’s clients. Several commercial projects are already being prepared and awaiting conclusion based on the outcome of this project.
• It is expected that substantial market take-up can be realised within 1,5 to 2 years from the start of this project, realising more than 600 jobs (FTE) in the first 5 years after the project. With several pre-commercial contracts are already waiting to be closed (totalling >300 MW of orders), the InToTidal concept will be a huge commercial success.
EU commission inspection of TFS at EMEC test site
Scale model of UFS undergoing flume tank testing at Ifremer
Artists impression of UFS