SmartBay Ireland is collaborating with the Marine Institute and Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland to develop a national test and demonstration facility for marine energy and technology. The proposed Test Bed will be deployed at the existing ¼-scale wave energy test site and consists of:
• A standard telecommunications cable from a shore station to the wave energy test site providing power and data connectivity
• Subsea test and monitoring platforms
The test and demonstration facility will provide a test bed for Marine ICT which will establish Ireland as a global leader in the development, testing and delivery of ICT products and services to the global marine sector. It will also provide wave energy developers with a facility to assess the performance of wave energy converters. In the longer term, Galway Bay will become a national centre of excellence for the marine technology sector.
The project is currently at the planning stage, in advance of procurement and installation. The selection of the preferred cable route was completed based a range of exploratory surveys that have been ongoing throughout 2011 and 2012. Surveys included: Bathymetry, side scan and geochirp surveys, ecological and archaeological surveys and an onshore survey. The technical specification and requirements of the cable and shore station have been identified.
The project team is currently preparing a foreshore licence application and a stakeholder consultation exercise is on-going. We are seeking feedback on the ocean energy test bed project from all interested parties.
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