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Multi-Use Platforms at Sea; OPEC and ENTROPI project updates

The OPEC project has been investigating the technical and economic feasibility of Multi-Use Platforms at Sea to support various combinations of revenue generating applications such as renewable energy generation, aquaculture and security and surveillance. The project completes at the end of December 2018.

By using a range of novel solutions for Multi-Use Platforms at Sea, the project has been looking at ways to achieve a 20% reduction in the cost of energy generated. The OPEC concept is envisaged to be a large floating structure, fabricated cost-effectively using steel modules. The sharing of the construction, installation, operation and maintenance costs between multiple uses is expected to increase the financial viability and return on investment for each use compared to a single-use platform.

The initial summary of findings from the project indicates that the following combinations of uses offer the most benefits and are worth further research:

* Integration of offshore wind generation with shellfish farming - this combination would not only be possible but could also be contained in quite a compact structure/facility

* Integration of offshore wind generation with finfish farming is possible but would need a larger contained volume within the structure, with impacts on platform hydrodynamics

* The most promising route for wave energy in a multi-use platform appears to be in combination with offshore port facilities. The large structural scale and mass of a ship berthing facility would also offer potential for significant wave energy capture

As a result of this short feasibility project, OPEC is planning a follow-up project to look more specifically at the detailed engineering required for two pilot multi-use platforms, one in South Africa and one in the UK.

To be kept up to date with the final findings of the OPEC project and continuing outcomes from the related ENTROPI project which is looking at innovations in design, anchoring and shared uses for Multi-Use Platforms at Sea (including security and surveillance services) please sign up to the Interest Group at the following link:

The ENTROPI project is currently finalising a series of value propositions to potential stakeholders and investors which will be promoted more widely in due course.

For more information and links please visit

OPEC has been co-funded through the Energy Catalyst Early Stage Feasibility fund from Innovate UK.

ENTROPI is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

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Posted 2018-11-27 14:18:11

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