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2015:  JAN
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January 2015 Issue

Aquamarine Power Faces Downsizing
Wave energy company Aquamarine Power (Edinburgh, Scotland) has announced plans to downsize its business.

“Following a strategic review, the Board of Aquamarine Power has decided to significantly downsize the business,” said Aquamarine Power CEO John Malcolm.

“This will involve retaining a core operational and management team to run the business and continue maintaining our Oyster 800 wave machine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.”

The company has entered into a consultation process with all of its employees on how to move forward with the restructuring and redundancy program.

“None of this is a reflection on the extraordinary dedication and hard work of every single member of the Aquamarine Power team; rather it is a consequence of the considerable financial, regulatory and technical challenges faced by the ocean energy sector as a whole,” said Malcolm.

“In a relatively short number of years, our business has significantly advanced the goal of generating electricity from waves and this has relied wholly upon the bright ideas, innovation and talent of the people who work here.

“We remain confident that Oyster technology offers the best route to a commercial nearshore wave energy machine.”

DCNS, EDF Chosen for French Tidal Turbine Array
Following a comprehensive process of expressions of interest and the resulting recommendation by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has now selected DCNS (Paris, France), OpenHydro’s parent company, and EDF Energies Nouvelles (Paris) for the development of pilot tidal turbine arrays off the French coast of Normandy.

The NORMANDIE HYDRO project will see the installation of an array of seven tidal turbines in the Raz Blanchard. The turbines, which are based on the latest technology developed by OpenHydro (Dublin, Ireland), will have a unit power output of 2 megawatts and will be connected to the power grid in 2018.

Originally announced in September 2013 by French President François Hollande, the goal of this project (launched under the “Investing for the Future” program) is to support the installation of precommercial farms to foster the consolidation of the tidal turbine sector in France.

The two partners will install an array of seven OpenHydro tidal turbines off the coast of Cherbourg in the Raz Blanchard, with a total installed power of 14 megawatts, allowing the supply of electricity to some 13,000 local residents.

The DCNS and EDF Energies Nouvelles teams are set to start the precommercial phase and achieve key project milestones around the following timeframes: continuation in 2015 of the consultation process, finalization of project development and obtaining the necessary administrative authorizations; and making the final connection of the tidal turbine array to the power grid in 2018.

The NORMANDIE HYDRO project is set to build on the deployment of the pilot Paimpol-Bréhat tidal array in northern Brittany, which, for OpenHydro and EDF, will comprise the installation of two tidal turbines off the coast of Paimpol in 2015, thus proving the technology before the start of the NORMANDIE HYDRO precommercial project.

EA Published for Virginia Wind Energy Proposals
BOEM has published its environmental assessment (EA) of proposed wind energy-related research activities offshore Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has submitted a research activities plan that describes the proposed construction, operation, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). DMME’s proposed project would consist of the installation and operation of two 6-megawatt wind turbine generators and cable to shore.

The proposed project would be located 24 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, adjacent to the Virginia commercial lease area.

This research project would inform the future production of offshore wind energy.

BOEM’s EA considers reasonably foreseeable environmental and socioeconomic consequences associated with the approval of the offshore wind research activities.

FloWave Wins Best Innovation Prize
The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility at Edinburgh University has secured the “Best Innovation” prize at this year’s Scottish Renewables Green Energy Awards.

The ocean energy test facility—which can replicate both waves and tides in its unique 25-meter circular pool—landed the prestigious innovation award at a ceremony held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“This award is a tremendous accolade for FloWave in its first year of operation,” said FloWave CEO Stuart Brown. The FloWave facility was also shortlisted in the Engineering Excellence category.

ATIR Tidal Turbine Prototype Successfully Deployed
Magallanes of Spain has successfully deployed a new floating tidal turbine prototype off Orkney, Scotland, at a 1:10 scale, the BBC reported. The ATIR prototype was installed at the Shapinsay Sound test site of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The company is constructing a full-scale prototype, and this recent deployment represents the first step towards testing the full-scale version.

“This test project allows us to demonstrate the integrity and viability of the concept and its subsystems in a real sea climate, and help inform the construction of our 2-megawatt floating platform to ensure a stable and optimal design,” Managing Director Marquis de Magallanes said.

“One of the most important steps was to discover maintenance needs, as well as gaining operational experience at sea.”

2015:  JAN
2014:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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