Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC)
Based in Cowes, Isle of Wight
There is a significant resource of tidal energy in the waters surrounding the Isle of Wight, with potential to be harvested for the generation of clean, green electricity. This resource could contribute to the UK’s 15% renewable energy targets for 2020, if sufficient support is offered to encourage early deployment of tidal energy technologies.
A study commissioned by The Isle of Wight Council to explore the feasibility of establishing a Centre for evaluation and research into marine renewable energy technologies concluded that it would be feasible for such a Centre to commence operating immediately, using existing laboratory facilities, and that the concept should be taken forward at the earliest opportunity.
SOEC commenced operation in 2008 and plans to offer a “cradle to grave” research, testing and evaluation service for tidal energy devices and laboratory testing for wave energy devices. The Centre is administered by MTMC Ltd and draws on test facilities and marine-related expertise of organisations on the Isle of Wight and nearby mainland region.
A cost-effective methodology for hydrodynamic testing of early-stage tidal stream generators has been developed, to provide performance data in a standardised format that will inform decisions about which devices have potential for commercial viability and are therefore worthy of further development.
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MTMC Ltd has conducted a number of desk-based technical assessments for early stage wave and tidal stream energy generators. These assessments fit the criteria set out by the Technology Strategy Board for assessment of novel wave and tidal stream generator designs