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Cumulative impact assessment of tidal stream energy extraction in the Irish Sea

Citation Haverson, D., Bacon, J., Smith, H.C. M., Venugopal, V. and Xiao, Q. Cumulative impact assessment of tidal stream energy extraction in the Irish Sea, Ocean Engineering, 137: 417-428, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2017.04.003.
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Author(s) Haverson, D., Bacon, J., Smith, H.C. M., Venugopal, V. and Xiao, Q.
Project partner(s) Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, University of Exeter, University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde
Publisher Ocean Engineering, 137: 417-428
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2017.04.003
Abstract A cumulative impact assessment of tidal stream developments in the Irish Sea has been conducted on a high-resolution depth-averaged hydrodynamic model, using Telemac2D. Eight sites were investigated, representing the proposed developments at the time of study. These included: Ramsey Sound, Anglesey, Strangford Loch, Mull of Kintyre, Torr Head, Fair Head, Sound of Islay and West of Islay. Only three projects showed array-array interaction: Fair Head, Torr Head and Mull of Kintyre. A smaller model domain was created for further analysis. Results showed Mull of Kintyre had little impact. Fair Head reduced the energy production at Torr Head by 17%, whereas, Fair Head only reduced by 2%. This was caused by the tidal asymmetry whereby the flood was stronger. When operated concurrently, the maximum power-output at Torr Head is 64.5 MW, representing 31% reduction. If Torr Head can still operate commercially in the presence of Fair Head, then the additional environmental impact of Torr Head, such as the change in bed shear stress, is small. Within the Irish Sea, very few of the tidal projects investigated are geographically close to each other. As the industry develops, the risk of interaction to these sites will grow when more intermediary sites are developed.

  • High resolution hydrodynamic model of tidal energy in the Irish Sea.
  • Five of eight proposed tidal developments showed no interaction.
  • Fair Head and Torr Head directly influence the other respective development.
  • Fair Head has a greater impact on Torr Head, both hydrodynamically and power production, due to the tidal asymmetry of the site.

This work was partly funded via IDCORE, the Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy, which trains research engineers whose work in conjunction with sponsoring companies aims to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal-current technologies
Associated Project(s) ETI-MA2003: Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE)
Associated Dataset(s) No associated datasets
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