Increasing the accuracy of initial feasibility studies - utilising numerical models to estimate the LCoE of floating tidal energy platforms

McDowell, John and Jeffcoate, Penny and Johanning, Lars and Bruce, Tom and Shi, Weichao (2019) Increasing the accuracy of initial feasibility studies - utilising numerical models to estimate the LCoE of floating tidal energy platforms. In: Applied Energy Symposium, 2019-05-22 - 2019-05-24, MIT.

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    Abstract

    Upon completion, this paper will utilize numerical modelling techniques to estimate the MetOcean conditions at sites with potential for tidal energy development. Understanding and incorporating these MetOcean site characteristics into the initial stages of a feasibility study, will increase the accuracy of economic viability predictions. A more comprehensive approach will assist in building investor confidence, as the previously overlooked or unknown lifetime costs can be estimated and included in the choice of ultimate deployment location. Freely available astronomic, bathymetric and meteorological data was input into a Delft3D-FM simulation of the Bay of Fundy. Spatially and temporally varying estimates of tidal height, flow velocity and significant wave height were output, and will be validated against several sets of tide gauge, flowmeter and wave buoy data respectively. Initial results suggest areas of highest resource are the most profitable, but sheltered areas with lower flow speeds are also highly economically viable. For an emerging technology sector with relatively limited amounts of operational experience, it is these areas of “low-hanging fruit” that should be targeted by tidal energy developers.