PLAT-O powers up

PLAT-O is prepared for deployment at East Cowes
PLAT-O is prepared for deployment at East Cowes
When deployed, the device causes minimal obstruction to surface vessels
When deployed, the device causes minimal obstruction to surface vessels
Industry Database

Sustainable Marine Energy says its PLAT-O system has become the first tidal energy system to generate power off the south coast of England. In doing so, SME has demonstrated that the cost of tidal energy is rapidly coming down with systems like PLAT-O coming on stream.

Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME, said: “It’s a huge achievement for the team. PLAT-O has been generating power consistently, reliably and, most importantly has behaved as we predicted it would. The mooring solution we have developed and employed is as steady as a rock. The installation operation went very smoothly and it absolutely goes to show that tidal energy devices can be installed in a low cost and efficient manner. Developing systems and deploying them in these strong tidal flows is a massive challenge but we have nailed it. The cost of tidal energy is coming down rapidly with systems like PLAT-O coming on stream.”

Matt Slatter, Chairman of SME, said: “It has been a very busy and very exciting time for the team at SME. The completion of our testing programme in the Solent is a major milestone and the culmination of three years of hard work. PLAT-O has lived up to expectations and we are now focusing on the deployment of PLAT-O at the European Marine Energy Centre and the build of the second PLAT-O. With the support of Scottish Enterprise, we are building the team to deliver a farm of PLAT-O systems generating up to 1MW of power at EMEC by the end of 2016."

Leask Marine, an Orkney based company, provided the multi-cat, C-Salvor, along with deck crew and a dive team with extensive experience working in strong tidal environments for the marine operations. Douglas Leask, MD of Leask Marine, said: “This is the first substantial marine operation that we have carried out with SME and it was very straightforward. The plans were clear and the team were very professional to work with. We have worked with other tidal energy devices and, in comparison, PLAT-O is an extremely well designed system that enables low cost operations.”

By Jake Frith

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