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Title: Final Technical Report: Development of Post-Installation Monitoring Capabilities

The development of approaches to harness marine and hydrokinetic energy at large-scale is predicated on the compatibility of these generation technologies with the marine environment. At present, aspects of this compatibility are uncertain. Demonstration projects provide an opportunity to address these uncertainties in a way that moves the entire industry forward. However, the monitoring capabilities to realize these advances are often under-developed in comparison to the marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies being studied. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County has proposed to deploy two 6-meter diameter tidal turbines manufactured by OpenHydro in northern Admiralty Inlet, Puget Sound, Washington. The goal of this deployment is to provide information about the environmental, technical, and economic performance of such turbines that can advance the development of larger-scale tidal energy projects, both in the United States and internationally. The objective of this particular project was to develop environmental monitoring plans in collaboration with resource agencies, while simultaneously advancing the capabilities of monitoring technologies to the point that they could be realistically implemented as part of these plans. In this, the District was joined by researchers at the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at the University of Washington, Sea Mammal Research Unit,more » LLC, H.T. Harvey & Associates, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Over a two year period, the project team successfully developed four environmental monitoring and mitigation plans that were adopted as a condition of the operating license for the demonstration project that issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in March 2014. These plans address nearturbine interactions with marine animals, the sound produced by the turbines, marine mammal behavioral changes associated with the turbines, and changes to benthic habitat associated with colonization of the subsea base support structure. In support of these plans, the project team developed and field tested a strobe-illuminated stereooptical camera system suitable for studying near-turbine interactions with marine animals. The camera system underwent short-term field testing at the proposed turbine deployment site and a multi-month endurance test in shallower water to evaluate the effectiveness of biofouling mitigation measures for the optical ports on camera and strobe pressure housings. These tests demonstrated that the camera system is likely to meet the objectives of the near-turbine monitoring plan and operate, without maintenance, for periods of at least three months. The project team also advanced monitoring capabilities related to passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals and monitoring of tidal currents. These capabilities will be integrated in a recoverable monitoring package that has a single interface point with the OpenHydro turbines, connects to shore power and data via a wet-mate connector, and can be recovered to the surface for maintenance and reconfiguration independent of the turbine. A logical next step would be to integrate these instruments within the package, such that one instrument can trigger the operation of another.« less
  1. University of Washington
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Orgs:
University of Washington NNMREC
Country of Publication:
United States