A European consortium led by Nova, in partnership with 11 other organizations, including Wood, has secured a major project to improve tidal turbine performance and boost the tidal energy commercialisation using artificial intelligence (AI).

The UK-based energy services provider Wood said that the project named ELEMENT is expected include advanced AI technology from wind energy into tidal turbines to provide an adaptive control system.

The adaptive control system technology is aimed at improving the turbine performance, by reducing the lifetime cost of energy by 17%, and driving the tidal energy sector to commercial reality.

The control technology is intended to be demonstrated on a floating tidal device in the Étel estuary in Brittany in France and on a seabed-mounted Nova M100 turbine in the Shetland Tidal Array in Scotland.

The project ELEMENT to help maintain Europe’s lead in marine energy

The 100% funded project ELEMENT is expected to help in maintaining Europe’s lead position in international marine energy and bring down the cost of emerging technology sector.

Wood clean energy vice president Steve Noble said: “Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our world and we’re proud to say we’re tackling this head-on by sharing our expertise and partnering with organisations such as Nova Innovation.

“Through our work on this project we are aiming to improve tidal turbine performance and accelerate the commercialisation of tidal energy. We want to create a brighter and more sustainable future and look forward to working with the rest of the consortium members as work progresses.”

Wood said that the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme has awarded the project ELEMENT as a competitive contract, and is scheduled to start in June 2019, running until May 2022.

The project team of industrial, academic and research organisations also includes IDETA, Chantier Bretagne Sud, Innosea, Nortek AS, The University of Strathclyde, DNV GL UK, France Energies Marines, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and ABB UK.

Nova Innovation chief executive officer Simon Forrest said: “Reliable tidal energy generation is now a reality.  It is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ the technology becomes mainstream.  The sector has taken great strides forward in recent years and our drive is now to reduce costs to compete with conventional generation.