|16 June 2016|
Driving down the costs of developing wave and tidal energy technologies will be one of the targets of a new international partnership.
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), based in Orkney, Scotland, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), based in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in the USA, to encourage knowledge exchange and joint research activities.
The two organisations originally began working together in 2012, with EMEC providing support on the design, set up and operation of NNMREC’s Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC) – a grid-connected marine energy test centre proposed for development off the Pacific Northwest coast.
EMEC supported NNMREC with the site selection process, advising on stakeholder engagement, preparing development plans and conducting risk assessments.
Building on this, the signing of this MoU will facilitate cooperation through joint research activities, sharing experiences, and information exchange relevant to the sustainable global development of marine renewable energy.
Of particular interest to both parties is the development of methods to facilitate environmental studies around marine energy converters. Both organisations are developing integrated monitoring technologies – EMEC’s Integrated Monitoring Pod (IMP), and NNMREC’s intelligent Adaptable Monitoring Package (iAMP) – and working in tandem should reduce costs whilst speeding up development of the systems.
Elaine Buck, EMEC’s Technical Manager, signed the MoU on behalf of EMEC: “Developing wave and tidal energy technologies to meet energy demands in a way that is economically viable and environmentally benign is a global challenge: international collaboration is essential to progress with this as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“EMEC and NNMREC have developed knowledge in technical, environmental, and economic aspects of marine renewable energy. Sharing our expertise and taking advantage of economies of scale to answer key research questions is of mutual interest.”
Brian Polagye, Associate Professor at the University of Washington, and Co-Director of NNMREC said: “NNMREC welcomes the opportunity for broader collaborations with EMEC that help to move our advances in environmental monitoring out of the laboratory and into the field where they can benefit the marine renewables industry.”
Belinda Batten, Professor at Oregon State University, and Director of NNMREC added: “Our collaborations with EMEC to date have been invaluable for strategically advancing our ocean test facilities. We are most pleased to take our partnership to the next level, as represented by the MoU.”
Jeremy Kasper, Co-Director of NNMREC at University of Alaska Fairbanks said: “We look forward to developing a closer relationship with EMEC in order to make rapid advances in carrying out successful testing and environmental monitoring of hydrokinetic technologies.”