Korea turns to Orkney firm for new energy test site

THE Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) has contracted the European Marine Energy (EMEC) in Orkney to support the development of its tidal energy test site at Jang-Juk Strait near Jindo Island.

EMEC said that the agreement strengthens the relationship between the two organisations. KIOST are developing a grid-connected tidal energy test, which will have a 4.5 MW grid capacity, with EMEC having been contracted to deliver the technical support to KIOST.

An EMEC technical report will review operational elements of the test site design including the cable layout, protection, and maintenance – as well as data acquisition and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, electrical infrastructure, and grid connection.

The Orkney firm said that it will also assess the likelihood of any environmental impacts associated with tidal energy projects on the marine ecosystem and provide guidance on environmental monitoring strategies for use at the site.

Rob Flynn, commercial manager at the European Marine Energy Centre, said, “The K-TEC facility is an important development for the tidal sector, and proof of its growing commercial readiness and expansion beyond Europe. KIOST and Korea have incredibly strong background in ocean science and engineering, and it’s encouraging to see them bring that to the tidal energy sector.

“Enabling marine energy globally is at the core of what we do at EMEC. We’re happy to bring our experience of operating test sites to bear on this project and help make it a success. I’m really excited to see how this facility develops, and we wish great success for our friends at KIOST.”

Dr. Jin-Soon Park, director of coastal development and ocean energy research center, at the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, said“I am very pleased that EMEC, which has been operating a marine energy test sites since 2003, and KIOST, which has been conducting tidal energy research since 2001, have been promoting joint research on the K-TEC construction for tidal energy development.

“The convergence of EMEC’s know-how and KIOST’s design technology will make the K-TEC facility a safer and more effective tidal energy converter test site. In addition, it is expected that K-TEC will be able to revitalize the tidal energy industry in Korea and in Asia as well.”