Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 129

prototype at one-fifth of the cost and one-tenth of the time of an
aluminium turbine.
Now the kite is mostly operated from the seabed foundation, and the
option of connecting it to the floating platform is still used when deploying
new upgraded subsystems. In the end, the challenges facing Minesto
surprisingly continue to unlock opportunities. The solution of an upside
down anchor to a platform has doubled the market potential since it has
turned out to enable full scale installations at larger depths than originally
thought, such as in ocean currents, which also enable constant renewable
electricity production and so can be used as base load on the grid.
Commercialisation
The next step for Deep Green is the installation of the first commercial
scale 0.5MW power plant off the coast of Wales in 2017. The installation
of the plant in Wales will be successively extended to a 10MW array that
will have the potential to deliver power to over 8,000 Welsh households.
The installation site is located off Holy Island, near the Isle of Anglesey.
For this, Minesto has been awarded an ‘agreement for lease’ by the
Crown Estate (manager of the UK seabed); environmental investigations
and detailed resource studies have so far progressed well.
This on-going project to commercialise Deep Green in Wales underpins
Minesto’s position as the global leader in renewable energy production
from low-flow tidal and ocean currents. For Wales, this project will lead
to job creation, increased income, and a more sustainable and diverse
energy supply. The development of new energy technologies requires
long term political strategies and capital. However, the payback from a
success story is significant for both financial investors and society. If we
Unlocking potential
The team now knew that they had taken a giant
step closer to unlocking the low velocity tidal
and ocean currents as a source of renewable
energy production. In 2013, just a few weeks
after the successful first flight, the initial use of
an automatic control system took place.
Since then, the quarter scale Deep Green has
been operational and has produced electricity.
The Minesto Deep Green power plant has
now achieved performance comparable to
producing electricity at the same cost
as offshore wind. Furthermore, multiple
improvements are being targeted, without any
significant design changes and with the power
output expected to be doubled.
All of the power plant’s functions have been
verified, including the full control in all tidal
velocities. An important milestone was reached
the first time the power plant was automatically
controlled and positioned in the middle of the
water column during slack water and the
turning of the tide. The quarter scale test
platform has proven itself many times as a
cost-efficient development environment. For
example, when testing a new turbine design,
3D printing was used to produce a polymeric
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
129
S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N E R G Y
Deep Green takes the
shape of an
underwater kite
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