The Seven Ps
It's the informal motto of the Navy SEALs: Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
Getting wave and tidal power machines to efficiently deliver power into the grid requires multiple stages of testing, with each one a step closer toward deploying devices in open water. Dropping these expensive and often bulky machines, be they underwater turbines or buoys, into harsh ocean conditions without a phased approach and long-range game plan is a recipe for disappointment.
Across the pond with the surprisingly successful MCT Seagen installation in Northern Ireland, and now the Meygen project going in the water near Orkney, the industry can now be said to be fully commercial. This has everything to do with coming out of proper test facilities.In the UK, there is the pre-wired EMEC test site in Orkney. There is a similar site at Paimpol-Bréhat in Brittany, France. The FORCE test installation in Nova Scotia is rigged thusly as well. Countries in Asia, including China and Taiwan, are moving ahead quickly with ocean power and have significant testing infrastructure in place already. We are decidedly behind the ball in this country.
A test site that was pre-wired with a shore cable, a standing FERC permit, remote monitoring instrumentation, and a standing power purchase agreement would be money. Our understanding is that industry pioneers Ocean Renewable Power Company in Maine wish to repurpose their old prototype site in Cobscook Bay, Maine into a grid-connected test facility. We heartily support any initiative in that regard and would be delighted to assist with getting the facility up and running, and indeed serving as the first patient in the operating theater.
It's all about proper preparation.