Sea Technology

APR 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 11 of 44 April 2018 | ST 11 vidually designed and installed by spe- cial-purpose oceangoing vessels that are not always available. These barriers prevent many technology developers from appropriately testing and scaling their devices and using the accumulat- ed experience to attract investment. Site Characterization With funding committed, MRECo identified a location in the Cape Cod Canal where the test site would be placed just west of the railroad bridge in Bourne. Environmental and resource assessment studies were conducted to better understand the nature of the proposed location. Scientists from Uni- versity of Massachusetts Dartmouth completed a seafloor site survey to characterize the benthic habitat. An ADCP survey was done using a Tele- dyne Oceanscience Z-Boat (remotely operated surface vessel) to create a 3D profile of the water column near the railroad bridge. The data were processed by Wa- terCube Inc. using its pat- ented software to display water velocities. Once it was determined that there was a spot in the area that had water velocities ap- proaching 2 m/s (4 kt.), the MRECo team applied for a full suite of permits. Permitting The construction and operation of the BTTS re- quired MRECo to obtain permitting approvals from local, state and federal authorities. The permitting process established by law and implemented through regulatory programs ensures protection of public resources, including infrastructure, navigation, recreation, wetlands, fisheries, endangered species and marine mammals. MRECo filed an application with the Town of Bourne Conservation Commission under the Massachusetts Wet- lands Protection Act and presented information about the project at a legally noticed public hearing. Before the commission can issue its order of conditions (i.e., the permit), it must receive letters from the Massachusetts Di- vision of Marine Fisheries and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program commenting on the potential impact of the project on fisheries and state-listed endangered species. In the case of the BTTS, these letters were issued stating no impact, and the com- mission issued an order of conditions at a second public hearing. Funding In 2016, MRECo was awarded a competitive grant by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council to enable the commercialization of partial-scale tidal turbines. These funds could only be used for capital investment such as structure design, manufacture and installation. The funds are being used to stand up the Bourne Tidal Test Site (BTTS), the only fixed, partial-scale pre-permit- ted site in the world now available for testing of tidal turbines, turbine components, marine sensors and ma- rine coatings, and for other uses that require long-term immersion in saltwater with a turbulent flow. In comparison, other test sites such as the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) in Scotland and the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in Canada are located further offshore, require full-scale devices and, in some cases, require additional permits. Instal- lation and operations costs are also significant because the turbines require mooring systems that must be indi- (Top) View of Cape Cod Ca- nal looking Northeast. The Bourne Tidal Test Site is lo- cated on the left side of the canal near the railroad bridge in the forefront. (Right) The barge-installed steel piles and work platform at the BTTS November 2017. The depth here is 7 m.

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