TeraWatt: Large scale Interactive coupled 3D modelling for wave and tidal energy resource and environmental impact (Remit 1 MASTS Consortium Proposal)

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Institute Of Petroleum Engineering

Abstract

Scotland has substantial wave and tidal energy resources and is at the forefront of the development of marine renewable technologies and ocean energy exploitation. The next phase will see these wave and tidal devices deployed in arrays, with many sites being developed. Although developers have entered into agreements with The Crown Estate for seabed leases, all projects remain subject to licensing requirements under the Marine Scotland Act (2010).
As part of the licensing arrangements, environmental effects in the immediate vicinity of devices and arrays will be addressed in the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) process that each developer must undertake. It is essential, however, that the regulatory authorities understand how a number of multi-site developments collectively impact on the physical and biological processes over a wider region, both in relation to cumulative effects of the developments and marine planning responsibilities. At a regional scale, careful selection of sites may enable the optimum exploitation of the resource while minimising any environmental impacts to an acceptable level.
The TeraWatt Consortium has been established through the auspices of The Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland (MASTS) with Heriot-Watt University, and the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde, the Highlands and Islands and Marine Scotland Science (MSS). The consortium has the support and anticipates the full engagement of the marine renewable developers in many aspects of the work. The research programme has been designed to specifically respond to questions posed by Marine Scotland Science, the organisation responsible for providing scientific advice to the licensing authority. In particular to the following questions: (1) What is the best way to assess the wave and tidal resource and the effects of energy extraction on it? (2) What are the physical consequences of wave and tidal energy extraction? (3) What are the ecological consequences of wave and tidal energy extraction? The overarching objective of the research is to generate a suite of methodologies that can provide better understandings of, and be used to assess, the alteration of the resource from energy extraction, and of the physical and ecological consequence. Illustration of the use of these in key development area, such as the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, and their availability as tools will enable the acceleration of array deployments.
The TeraWatt research programme is structured in 4 workstreams. The first, led by MSS, will collate all necessary data to be used, develop the hypothetical multi-site array configurations in conjunction with developers and evaluate acceptance criteria for impacts. The second led by Edinburgh University will use separate and coupled models of wave and tide at a resolution necessary to consider multi-site array effects on the resource, providing important inputs to workstreams 3 and 4 which will address in turn, the spatial changes in physical processes affecting sediments, the shoreline and seabed (led by Glasgow and Strathclyde), and the spatial changes affecting organisms living in the seabed, their distribution and the significance of these for other ecological processes (led by Heriot-Watt University). Each workstream will provide reviews of the methodologies used which will be synthesised into a single methods toolbox. Where possible all regional scale modelling, used to illustrate these methodologies, will be validated by field data and the consortium has assembled both existing and data not previously available, for this purpose with the support of MSS and marine renewable developers.
The TeraWatt project, which will be managed by MASTS, envisages direct participation from industry in various aspects of its work, and has a number of wider knowledge exchange and stakeholder engagement activities planned.

Planned Impact

TeraWatt will provide answers to specific marine planning and consenting questions faced by the regulatory authorities. These are critical to accelerating the licensing of multi-site arrays and hence, by enabling this next crucial phase in the exploitation of marine renewable resources, will contribute to maintaining the UK lead in the development of wave and tidal technologies. Deliverables from the project will be pivotal in assisting regulators to determine arrangements for the optimal exploitation of the resource while at the same time ensuring minimal environmental impacts. Its positive economic and social impacts in providing timely solutions to these questions are significant.

Marine Scotland Science, the organisation responsible for providing scientific advice to the regulator on planning and consenting matters, in waters where the first major multi-site deployments will occur, is a project partner in TeraWatt. It will lead, throughout the research, the engagements with the device and field developers, which are necessary to ensuring confidence in the outputs of the work for both industry and regulator. This partnership, and the necessary engagements, with developers are embedded in TeraWatt to ensure that deliverables meet the requirements of the sector and can be immediately exploited.

Accelerating the licensing of multi-site wave and tidal developments will help the UK maintain its place at the leading edge of marine energy technology and developments, and this will result in strong socio-economic impacts in areas related to research and development, design engineering, manufacturing and construction. Developments will be de-risked by the enhancing our ability to predicting the resource impact of energy extraction, assisting investors in supporting and building the finance case for large scale developments. Socio-economic benefits will be evident at a community level by providing skilled employment as a result of accelerated developments, up to regional, national and international level by increasing the UK share of renewables, and thus low carbon, energy production capacity. Direct beneficiaries of this research activity include the regulatory authorities, the Crown Estate (responsible for seabed leasing), device and field developers, and investors associated with field development financing.

Associated with the accelerated development of the sector, are secondary economic benefits which will come from upgrades to the electricity network, enhanced opportunities in technology manufacturing, and regional benefits from upgrades to port and harbour facilities, and related service sector activity, all likely to arise as the result of this growth.

The expertise and capacity developed from the research will assist in the integration of science into the marine planning process, and will benefit more generally the knowledge economy now emerging around marine renewable planning, strategic environmental assessment, and the ecosystem approach to the management of European seas.



The project will also generate new knowledge and advances in methodologies, both in innovation and application, of value not only to the sector but to a wider research community in fields ranging from hydrodynamic modeling to marine ecology and conservation. In particular, the inter-disciplinary fine scale regional modelling approach adopted, using existing and new physical and biological data (previously unavailable at this resolution) will enable the development of innovative methods for the determination and understanding of the influence of wave and tidal kinematics, on sediment processes and on the marine biota, its benthic differentiation and distribution, and provide predictive tools that can be much more widely used by researchers and government advisors working in the fields of marine conservation, and in particular in support of the anticipated establishment of marine protected areas.
 
Title Art prints generated from tidal flow 
Description Series of three semi-abstract canvas prints generated from the tidal flow around the Orkney Isles. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Two of the canvases were exhibited at the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, in 2015. This led to discussions about the research with visitors. 
 
Description In addition to the publications our major output is the toolbox which has taken the form of a series of position papers describing the methodologies developed, and a Special Issue of a journal which demonstrates their application.
Exploitation Route Further uptake of outputs by developers and the regulatory authorities is anticipated.
Sectors Energy,Environment

URL http://www.masts.ac.uk/about/masts-publications/terrawatt/
 
Description TeraWatt has led to the following: • EcoWatt2050 ~ a successful Grand Challenge II proposal from the TeraWatt Consortium plus other partners drawn into this research. • Seven new and/or linked PhD studentships to the TeraWatt project. We have directly linked PhDs now created in Swansea and HWU, with associated PhDs drawn in from Strathclyde, UHI/LCC and also HWU, making a total of seven (HWU 2, plus 1 Supergen Core; Strathclyde 1, Swansea 1 and UHI/LCC 2). These are invited and regularly attend the TeraWatt Project Workshops. • Sharing of data and modelling with The Crown Estate. For different reasons to the objectives of TeraWatt, PFOW developers with TCE have been developing a MIKE 2d model. This is now shared with the TeraWatt consortium, who equally is reporting back to TCE and developers on our progress. We also acknowledge the sharing of data by TCE with the TeraWatt consortium. • Sharing experiences of our models with CFD approaches for a developer site, enabling greater confidence in the parameterisation of MIKE and Delft3D for energy extraction. • Thorough collation and reworking of all available data for the study area, largely undertaken and completed by Marine Scotland Science. • Collaboration with software developers (notably Deltares), enabling the possible development of the Delft3D code to better represent energy extraction. • Direct engagement with staff from developer companies in our annual workshop discussions on modelling and environmental consequences of energy extraction.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Development of wave and tidal energy extraction array secarios and of methodologies for assessing impacts
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Development of methods and understandings of environmental impact for use in the development of regulation and guidance
 
Description EPSRC Grand Challenge II ~ EcoWatt2050
Amount £947,652 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K012851/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 02/2017
 
Description HLF funding for the CoCoast Capturing our Coast Citizen Science project led by Newcastle University
Amount £1,700,000 (GBP)
Organisation Heritage Lottery Fund 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2018
 
Description PhD studentship linked to TeraWatt
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Organisation Heriot-Watt University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 02/2016
 
Description Swansea University College of Engineering PhD studentships
Amount £67,000 (GBP)
Organisation Swansea University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 01/2016
 
Title Configuration files and outputs from a MIKE by DHI hydrodynamic model of the east coast of Scotland 
Description Files required to set up and run the MIKE by DHI hydrodynamic model to simulate waves and currents off the east coast of Scotland 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Publications 
URL https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/en/datasets/configuration-files-and-outputs-from-a-mike-by-dhi-hydr...
 
Title Modelling energy extraction in tidal flows, v2.1 
Description Developed by the TeraWatt consortium with marine renewable energy developer input, this position paper describes the methodology for the incorporation of tidal energy extraction within hydrodynamic models such as MIKE and Delft3D. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The position paper provides a preferred methodology for the incorporation of tidal energy extraction in hydrodynamic models used by developers and Government. 
URL http://www.masts.ac.uk/about/masts-publications/terrawatt/
 
Title Modelling the impacts of marine energy extraction on non-cohesive sediment transport and morphodynamics, v1 
Description Developed by the TeraWatt consortium, this position paper describes the methodologies for the investigation of tidal and wave energy extraction within hydrodynamic models such as MIKE and Delft3D on sediment transport and morphodynamics. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Provides preferred methodologies for use by Government and developers for the assessment of impacts from tidal and wave energy extraction on sediment transport and morphodynamics as required for inputs to the Environmental Impact Assessment process and Environmental Statement. 
 
Title Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Round 1 Array Layouts, v1 
Description This position paper prepared by Marine Scotland Science (partners in the TeraWatt Consortium) describes the typical array layouts expeted in Round 1 of development for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This position paper provides a realistic baseline for the modelling of extraction of wave and tidal energy in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area arising from the first phase of development. 
URL http://www.masts.ac.uk/about/masts-publications/terrawatt/
 
Title Representing Wave Energy Extraction in Regional Scale Numerical Models, v3.1 
Description Developed by the TeraWatt consortium with marine renewable energy developer input, this position paper describes the methodology for the incorporation of wave energy extraction within hydrodynamic models such as MIKE and Delft3D. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The position paper is available from the Consortium and the MASTS website. It provides a preferred methodology for the incorporation of wave energy extraction within models being used by developers and Government. 
URL http://www.masts.ac.uk/about/masts-publications/terrawatt/
 
Title Vertical profiles of seawater turbdity, chlorophyll temperature and salinity 
Description Data from a monitoring site in the North Sea on vertical profiles of turbidity and hydrographic variables 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Publications 
URL https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/en/datasets/vertical-profiles-of-seawater-turbdity-chlorophyll-temp...
 
Description The TeraWatt and EcoWatt2050 Consortia 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Marine Scotland Science are full partners in the Consortium and responsible for the acquisition of all data used in the research which is made available via their ftp site.
Collaborator Contribution All outcomes from all workstreams are shared with MSS
Impact MSS Have developed FVCOM models of the Scottish Shelf with subdomains covering areas where wave and tidal developments may occur.
Start Year 2014
 
Description A session at the MASTS Annual Science Meeting reporting on TeraWatt outputs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation of research findings from TeraWatt at a special session of the MASTS Annual Science Meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Developer Workshop on marine energy extraction hosted by Marine Scotland Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact The focus was the adoption of preferred methods for the incorporation of tidal energy extraction in hydrodynamic models.

An agreement was reached that has led to the subsequent publication of 3 position papers from the TeraWatt Consortium. These are wave energy extraction, tidal energy extraction and realistic array layouts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description TeraWatt/Ecowatt2050 Steering Group Meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A formal Steering Group to which TeraWatt and EcoWatt2050 report every 6 months on progress to Steering Group Members who represent the developer and regulatory community.

Many useful suggestions and offers of assistance arising during meetings have been followed up with fruitful results (e.g. comparisons of our research with cfd approaches).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Workshop each year in June 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop provides a one week intensive discussion on the research in TeraWatt and EcoWatt2050 to which developers, regulatory authorities, software developers as well as those involved in the Consortia are invited to attend. Additionally linked PhD research in each partner organisation is usually well represented. The input from developers and regulatory authorities has been particularly useful in shaping the research and methods applied.

One particular outcome has been the recommendations to software developers on future needs for the incorporation of wave and tidal energy extraction within the models developed using these.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016