Before installing and grid connecting a Pelamis machine at an offshore site, there are a number of project development activities that must be undertaken.
The project development process includes activities from site identification through to securing planning consents and can often have a significant lead time. The UK process for site development is shown to the left.
Before choosing a project location, Pelamis will carry out an in depth site selection; assessing among other factors:
• Wave resource
• Water depth and seabed type
• Environmental sensitivities
• Navigational sensitivities and use of the area by other sea users
In the UK, it is possible to secure an Agreement for Lease from The Crown Estate who own the seabed around the UK. This agreement gives the developers time limited exclusivity to carry out site investigations in an area of interest.
Before carrying out survey and data collection work it is usual to carry out a scoping exercise, in which stakeholders and regulators are consulted on all aspects of the project development.
Survey & Baseline Data Collection
- Depending on the site location a number of different data sets will be required. These may include:
- Hydrographical (wave) and tidal current data.
- Bathymetric, geophysical and geotechnical data to characterise the seabed conditions and water depth at the site.
- Onshore infrastructure data including harbours and onshore grid network.
- Data on other sea users.
- Baseline ecological data and proximity to designated features.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Front End Engineering Design (FEED)
These activities involve assessing the infrastructure and resulting impacts of the project on local communities and habitats. Both are covered in more detail later in this section.
Pelamis have expertise at each stage of the development process and can offer services to others interested in developing wave projects.