BlueTEC to Double Capacity

(With video and extra pictures) With every tidal flow, the BlueTEC Texel tidal platform supplies electricity into the Dutch national grid. The project partners are now planning the installation of a second, larger turbine.

The platform went from drawing board to operation in just six months. Allard van Hoeken, Head of New Energy at Bluewater Energy Services: “The electricity production is conform expectations, the mooring loads are lower than expected and the stability is better than expected.”

Shortly after its launch this summer, the platform’s new moorings passed their first serious tests with flying colours as two large storms passed over the area.

Second Turbine

With the platform up and running smoothly, the project partners are now looking forward to the next step in its development by installing another turbine, a Tocardo T2, before the winter, which will double the platform’s capacity.

Van Hoeken: “A few months after that we will install a second T2 turbine.” According to Van Hoeken this will double capacity to the 400-500 kW mark.

2.5 MW Units

The project partners are also working on larger units of 2.5 MW each. “These units can supply clean energy to islands and remote locations below the cost of diesel generators. In addition, […] they also pave the way towards large, utility-scale tidal farms. Starting with 500 kW units means using existing technology and a small grid setup, hence keeping the required investment and associated risks to a minimum. In the following step, our 2.5 MW units will be used for full development,” Van Hoeken says.

Ease of Maintenance

The BlueTEC platform serves as a demonstrator model. The platform’s ease of maintenance illustrates the advantages of a floating system: “We can reach the platform with a small boat, open the watertight door and enter the electronics room, fix and replace something and be back on land an hour later.”

Below a video of the BlueTEC platform (by Bluewater) as well as extra pictures (supplied by Damen). To view the pictures in their proper dimensions, please click the pop-out link.

Picture (top): BlueTEC Texel Tidal platform in operation, producing clean electricity from the tides in the Wadden Sea

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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