BlueTEC: green energy modular solution
This is a very exciting time, enhanced by the cooperation with the partners.
A group of offshore companies has come together recently to realise a first-of-its-kind floating tidal energy platform installation. Bluewater Energy Services developed BlueTEC, a tidal solution that uses a Damen modular barge permanently moored offshore. Project partner Van Oord has installed the first unit, a demonstration project off the coast of the Dutch island of Texel, from where potential clients will be able to see the capabilities of the technology for themselves.
The modular nature of BlueTEC enables it to be transported easily to any location in the world and locally assembled. This makes it the ideal solution for remote locations, such as Fiji, Indonesia and the Philippines. Once installed, the platform supports up to 200 kW of tidal turbines producing clean, reliable energy in a cost-efficient manner.
This is the first time that a modular barge has been connected to a permanent mooring spread, however, Bluewater specializes in floating platform technology and was confident from the outset that the idea was promising. For one thing, the floating approach means that all sensitive electronics are housed within the modular platform, which provides not only protection, but easy access for maintenance purposes.
“In 10 years it may be possible, in some locations, to go below the water with this technology. However, for now a lot of the equipment, which would become inaccessible, is unproven. First you’ve got to get everything to a stage where it’s proven maintenance free for 5 years – that’s challenging enough – and then you can think about putting it below the water,” says Bluewater Energy Services’ Head of New Energy Allard van Hoeken.
The location of the platform on the surface of the water also allows the turbines to take advantage of the high current velocity – 75% of which is to be found in the top 50% of water. This equals extreme cost-efficiency with maintenance costs reduced and additional kW/H gained.
“This is a very exciting time, enhanced by the cooperation with the partners. Everyone is very proactive and results oriented. We are really working well together,” concludes Mr Van Hoeken.