By Renewable Energy Focus staff
The aim of the project is to “enable tidal and ocean current energy to become commercially viable,” SMT says.
Jason Hayman, Managing Director at SMT, says: “We are very excited by the potential for PLAT-O as we believe that not only will it create a real step change in the costs of deployment and maintenance access, but also it has the flexibility and usability to become the industry standard as it will enable project developers to use the same platform for whichever device technology they choose.
“Other key benefits are that PLAT-O is a subsea buoyant moored platform which will enable it to be placed very efficiently in the water column, we will be able to access deep water sites which are not available to piled or gravity based devices, and it will handle uneven sea beds and any type of sea bed condition.
SMT plans to deploy a large scale prototype of its tidal energy platform for ocean trials in 2014.
The array could mount up to five tidal devices providing a total capacity of up to 5 MW, with the power being exported by a single cable.
As the platform is towable it removes the need for heavy lift vessels, and so also removes the need to compete with oil, gas and offshore wind for the limited number of these costly vessels available, SMT says.