The deployment and operation of wave and tidal farms is expensive with installation costs
representing 18% of lifetime costs for wave and 27% for tidal arrays.2 These costs depend
significantly on the site and foundation requirements. The higher proportion for tidal
devices is due to the challenges of installation in high speed tidal currents. Installation
costs form a significant proportion of the initial investment, making them a key priority for
improvement in order to facilitate future and larger deployments. Operational costs are
also a key concern, although with little full scale practical experience, it is difficult to
quantify the potential costs at this stage. However, it is estimated that O&M costs make
up 17% of lifetime costs for a wave array and 19% for a tidal array. 3 To place this in
context, the annual O&M of wave and tidal devices is expected to be c. 3.4-5.8% of
CAPEX compared to 2.3-3.7% for offshore wind.4
It is also important to consider the
potential impact installation and O&M methods may have on array design e.g. the spacing
needs for vessel access. To date, few studies have investigated the costs, infrastructure
and resources needed or the time required for installation or O&M activities. SI Ocean
Cost of Energy report5 outlines some of the key issues requiring research and cost
1. Operation efficiency – optimal planning of activities to
a. minimise requirements for offshore activities e.g. predictive maintenance
b. developing techniques and procedures that require cheaper vessels
c. avoid the unnecessary use and costs of resources/assets e.g. vessels etc.
d. improved resources and infrastructure to facilitate efficiency and reduce
costs e.g. OE specific vessel and equipment that maximise available
weather windows, suitable ports and on-land infrastructure etc.
2. Improved device/array design for reduced life-cycle costs e.g.
a. improved reliability of the technology and array infrastructure to minimise
b. build in redundancy to minimise downtime and maintain power production
c. reduced number of components (one foundation for several turbines) to
save installation and maintenance costs etc.
d. ease of maintenance so components etc. are easily accessible.
e. floating devices should be significantly cheaper.
Thus in order to reduce the LCoE for marine renewables it is important to optimise
operations in all parts of the project lifecycle. This includes how and where developers
fabricate their technologies, how they transport them and components, what method of
installation is used, how best to operate and maintain the devices and finally how to
decommission. Each of these lifecycle stages can involve thousands of decision choices
and without the use of models and the development of practical experience it is impossible
to know if the best decisions have been made such that energy production is maximised
and CAPEX and OPEX are minimised. As wave and tidal energy are nascent industries
there is very little experience in designing and operating commercial farms so significant
learning is required before the benefits of full optimisation can be achieved. However, the
development and use of models can ensure that there is some level of optimisation,
particularly if the experience and methods used in the offshore wind industry are used.
Thus the developed models will allow the user to 1) optimise the logistics required at the
installation and O&M phase e.g. port, offshore vessel fleet, activity schedule and 2)
simulate operations across the lifecycle considering uncertain factors e.g. weather and
failures and their impact on the costs and duration of a project. This set of tools will enable
not only design of optimum supply-chain for a given ocean energy array, but will also
provide input to total life-cycle supply-chain cost assessment by linking with the techno
economic model. The work will draw on previous experience on the development of
similar models for the offshore wind industry where there are similarities in terms of the
logic and methods that need to be employed.
4 Uihlein, Andreas, Davide Magagna, ‘Wave and tidal current energy – A review of the current state of research
beyond technology,’ Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, (2016), 1070-1081.
The specific objectives are:
3. Design and development of Installation, Operations & Maintenance and Logistics
models. The model output must be in format that is compatible with the techno-
4. Test the model using generic data sets and scenarios relevant to Ireland and
5. Apply model to pilot case studies and examine the impact of scaling up to array
Targets achieved in deliverable
Employment increase in supported enterprises: 1 out of 4:
– DP will use the outputs from this WP and will employ a new project development,
installation, O&M and logistics staff member.
Private investment matching public support in innovation or R&D operations €25K.
– DP will provide Matched funding via matched staff time in assisting with providing
expertise in model development.
1 out of 4 New to market products,
– UCC will be brining one new Installation and operations and maintenance model product
2 out of 8 new to the firm products
– DP will provide a new project development service that makes use of the model product.
Description of work
T8.0 Work package coordination (*UCC): liaising with project coordinator. Making sure
all deliverables are delivered on time.
T8.1 Design and development of Installation, O&M and Logistics models (UCC)
This task will use existing installation, O&M and logistics models that have been developed
primarily by UCC for the offshore wind industry and begin the process of modifying them
for use in wave and tidal applications. In the process of model development, it is planned
that workshops will take place with external IW industry stakeholders, This ongoing
consultation will ensure industry relevance of the functionality of the software tools; the
validity of the software outputs and assumptions; and awareness of the Selkie project tools
by industry. The model development will also draw from work undertaken in the DTOcean
project which developed a 1st generation set of open source models applicable to the
wave and tidal sectors. The tools developed by DTOcean are open source, and are basic
models. The open source code allows the user to customise the model to specific or
tailored requirements of the technology or company, by researchers and developers
After the consultative and review of existing all modelling is complete, tool development
and customisation will take place with the purpose to provide a user friendly Installation,
O&M and Logistics software that can be applied to a variety of wave or tidal technologies.
T8.2 Testing of software tools (*UCC, SU, DP)
A comprehensive testing programme will be undertaken to ensure the software tool is
producing reliable and accurate results. In this respect it is important that good quality
data is available and this can only be partially achieved given that there is currently just
one small tidal array in operation. Therefore, learning will be transferred from offshore
wind projects. The site and environmental data will have already been collected and input
into the GIS (WP4) and technology data will be obtained from developers where possible
whilst any data gaps will need to be filled in by the project partners. Realistic test scenarios
will be developed and tested for IW application along with test scenarios used for other
models for which results are available.
T8.3 Application of model to Pilot case studies (UCC,)
This task will be a specific application of the tools for the technologies selected for the
case studies. . The tools will first be applied to plan and optimise the installation and
O&M strategies and subsequently real data can be input that will help refine and improve
the model. The models will then be used to consider how installation and O&M strategies
would change for different scales of array development for these technologies.
D8.1 Report of existing Installation, Operations, Maintenance and Logistics model
available best suited for wave and tidal applications
D8.2 Modified Installation, Operations, Maintenance and Logistics model for Irish and
Welsh wave and tidal technologies and locations, Open Access
D8.3 Wave pilot: Model recommendations for commercial stage,
D8.4 Tidal pilot: Model recommendations for commercial stage,
D8.5 Feedback report to WP4 analysis on optimal installation and O&M strategies