"The Farr Point wave farm project will prove the viability of Pelamis wave power technology on a commercial scale."
Laura Carse, Project Development Manager, Pelamis Wave Power
Farr Point Wave Farm
In 2010 Pelamis Wave Power was successful in securing a seabed lease option from The Crown Estate, as part of the world’s first leasing round for marine energy projects. Pelamis is now developing an offshore wave energy farm of up to 10 MW to prove the Pelamis wave energy converter in a commercial demonstration project.
The Farr Point project is an Official Competitor for the Scottish Government’s Saltire Prize, a unique international challenge for the marine power sector.
An ‘Area of Search' is located around 5-12km off the Sutherland coast, with flexibility to take into account other sea users, survey data and environmental data before defining the final site location. A Pelamis wave farm of 10MW size would occupy a much smaller area of 2-3km2
The project will comprise of up to 10 Pelamis wave energy converters, in an array layout. Electricity from the array will be exported to shore via a single subsea cable to a substation at an onshore landfall point on the north coast for connection into the mainland grid.
Wave buoy data
Two wave measurement buoys have been deployed at the site in conjunction with the Environmental Research Institute (Thurso) in order to assess the wave resource at the project location. A notice to mariners with the specific locations of the two wave measurement buoys within the area of search can be downloaded and map can be viewed here.
Sea state data from both wave buoys is transmitted via radio link every half hour to a receiver station at the North Coast Leisure Centre in Bettyhill. These half-hourly sea states are made-up of thousands of individual waves with varying height, period and direction (together referred to as a “wave spectrum”) which can be refined down to simple metrics such as wave height and period or shown as more complex data. The data below shows the latest readings from the westerly buoy:
The time and date shown mark the start of the half hourly period for which the data is being displayed.
Hs, or significant wave height, is the average of the highest third of the waves.
Hmax is the height of the highest individual wave.
Te, or energy period, is the period of the most commonly occurring wave.
Although Te is the more important metric to measure wave period for wave energy converters, most surf forecasts present the peak period of the spectrum (Tp) which is the period of waves within the spectrum which carry the most energy per wave. Tp is usually about 20% greater than Te, although this varies from spectrum to spectrum.
The right-hand wave energy distribution graph displays the spread of wave energy in terms of the wave periods making-up the spectrum, with Te denoted by the dotted vertical line. This graph can show if there is a single pronounced “swell” element (a single peak) or multiple elements (multiple peaks) within the sea state, and how much each is contributing to the overall energy in the sea. An example of a sea cominbination of elements would be a long period groundswell combined with a localised, short period wind swell.
The left-hand wave energy rose is displaying the same energy data as the distribution graph with the added data of directionality, the colour intensity indicating which direction the energy intensities are coming from.
The figures and diagrams above represent the latest data as received by the wave buoy and is unprocessed for errors or anomolies by the Pelamis team. For this reason Pelamis Wave Power takes no responsibility for the accuracy of this data and it is advised not to rely on these measurements alone for the purposes of navigation or excursions.
Project Update - July 2014
Development of the Farr Point Wave Farm has progressed significantly over the last six months. Important milestones have been achieved in wave climate assessment, technical design, environmental studies and offshore survey. Download a full Project Update summarising the progress made to date as a pdf (1.6MB) on our 'Downloads' page.
Anyone wishing to provide comments on the proposed Farr Point Wave Farm can do so by writing to the project development team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to the Farr Point Information newsletter to receive notifications of any public events we hold, and other occasional news relevant to the project.
Related News Items:
- 3 October 2014 | Wave measurement buoys redeployed at Farr Point wave site
- 3 July 2014 | Farr Point wave measurements live online
- 24 March 2014 | Farr Point Public Consultation Events
- 20 March 2014 | Sutherland and Caithness residents to be consulted on wave farm plans
- 28 August 2012 | Saltire Prize Grand Challenge period begins
- 9 May 2012 | What Lies Beneath? Marine Scotland Science’s Seabed Survey Work Provides Some Important Answers for Marine Renewable Developers
- 12 August 2010 | Pelamis Wave Power Becomes the First Official Saltire Prize Competitor
- 16 March 2010 | PWP Awarded Lease Option for North Coast Wave Farm