Researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) will soon install the world’s first offshore test berth for small-scale ocean current turbines.
The project has emerged as a result of the recently signed five-year lease agreement between FAU and the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
The lease will allow installation of multiple anchored floating test berths on the US outer continental shelf, 13 miles (22 kilometres) offshore from Broward County, Florida. Each berth consists of a buoy anchored to the sea floor allowing ocean current prototypes, of up to 100KW generation capacity, to be deployed from vessels moored in the Gulf Stream for a few weeks at a time.
“This project is a potentially paradigm-shifting development in the global quest for clean energy sources and puts South Florida at the forefront of research in this critical effort” said FAU President John Kelly. “It also demonstrates the multidisciplinary nature of marine renewable’s research, a successful public, private partnership and FAU’s international leadership in the field.”