In a context of constant growth of marine activities, sea users are multiplying, the available nearshore areas are shrinking, and navigation difficulties are increasing.
This pressures traditional marine activities such as aquaculture: operators are progressively moving away from the nearshore to find less saturated offshore areas .
However, the development of marine renewable energies in these more remote areas raises the question of developing “multi-purpose” solutions to optimize the use of these maritime areas. One of these possibilities is the coupling of aquaculture systems and offshore wind farms.
“Noordzee Aquacultuur” PROJECT
This project is led by a consortium comprising the University of Ghent, the Belgian Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Belwind, C-Power, Brevisco, Colruyt Group, DEME Group, Lobster Fish and Sioen Industries.
The project is studying the feasibility of exploiting a mussel farm within a wind farm from a biological, technical and economic point of view. The first farm was set up in May 2017 in C-Power Park, and a second organic mussel farm in Belwind Park is scheduled to follow.
The Entropi project is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund under the Blue Technology program. The PMBA, which is a partner of WEAMEC, is participating in partnership with Marine South East (UK), MBERC (IE), Forúm Oceano (PT) and PLOCAN (SP).
Entropi is interested in developping integration solutions for multiple uses of a single platform, and innovations to make these multi-use solutions economically viable.
The project focuses on the creation of innovative solutions for anchoring, foundations, maintenance and data analysis that will reduce the exploitation costs.
The consortium has worked on the identification of technologies and necessary innovations (anchorages, MRE, aquaculture, etc.) and the identification of the needs of the market and available companies or equipments throughout the Atlantic Basin. In September 2018, three deployment scenarii were identified :
• deployment of a floating platform integrating wind turbines and aquaculture nets,
• deployment of an anchoring / mooring subsystem,
• deployment of a security and monitoring subsystem.
The consortium is now defining an investment plan for each of these scenarii, including an estimation of real revenues and costs. A call for expressions of interest from industry players (companies and research centers) potentially interested in the development of these scenarii has been launched.
The project will end in April 2019.
The OPEC project aims to analyze the technical and economic feasibility of multi-purpose platforms combining several energy exploitation systems combined with other marine exploitation activities.
This project mainly focuses on developing innovative floating foundations to reduce by 20% the cost of multi-energy systems incorporating aquaculture solutions.
The project also aims to study the possibility of deploying these new platforms in developing islands, along isolated coastal communities, or in areas with little port infrastructures.