Mojo Maritime has won the Best Tidal Industry Collaboration Award at the 8th International Tidal Energy Summit, on 25 November, for its leadership of the Hi Flo 4 (HF4) tidal energy vessel consortium, comprised of Voith, Bauer Renewables, DNV GL and University of Exeter.
Underpinned by the Technology Strategy Board (now InnovateUK), the HF4 project set out to deliver a bespoke offshore construction vessel (OCV), designed to make significant reductions in tidal energy installation costs. Beginning in December 2012, the £2.8M R&D project encompassed a number of inter-related work streams, including, amongst other things, naval architecture, dynamic positioning, and role equipment integration, supported by environmental analyses and crew concept development. The project was successfully concluded in September 2014, with the key output being a ship design for a tidal installation, operations and maintenance vessel that meets all of DNV GL’s preliminary ship classification society requirements. The HF4 design also meets or exceeds all of Mojo’s design objectives, not least through its ability to dynamically position in up to 10 knots of tidal stream and lift up to 250 tonnes with the removable A-Frame offshore crane. Although sized and equipped for the tidal sector, the vessel lends itself perfectly for operations in offshore wind and oil & gas. The design fills a gap between construction vessels/ sophisticated anchor handlers designed for the offshore market, and the smaller service vessels (such as multicats) that have developed to meet the needs of the marine civils industry.
Early modelling using Mojo’s Marine Economic Risk Modelling AID (Mermaid) software is demonstrating HF4’s game changing potential for the tidal sector. For example, in a high-energy tidal site such as the Pentland Firth or Raz Blanchard, and using the Bauer drilling spread and monopile foundation, early Mermaid analysis is showing that 3 x HF4 vessels will be able to install a 375 MW commercial array of 250 turbines rated at 1.5MW in just over 2 years. Mermaid shows that this is less than a third of the time of 3 x conventional OCVs, thus in addition to the installation cost savings, the HF4 technology also offers significant early yield benefits, by bringing 375MW of capacity on-line 4 years early. These advantages show up in levelised cost of energy (LCOE) figures and Mojo believe that, by combining HF4 and the Bauer monopile technology, it will be possible to deliver tidal LCOEs of around £116/MWH, a figure that is below that of Round 2 and 3 offshore wind, and close to that of nuclear.
After accepting the award at ITES Richard Parkinson, Mojo’s Managing Director, said: “It is not often that you get the opportunity to make a game-changing contribution to a new energy sector, but that is exactly what I believe we have done with HF4. Although we are still using Mermaid, our operational planning software, to refine our LCOE figures, we are increasingly confident that LCOEs for tidal energy below £120/MWH are in prospect, once we get the ship into service.”
Mojo is now working hand-in-glove with its commercial partner and major vessel owner, Hammonia Reederei, to select a yard and commence first-of-class building with a view to bringing HF4 into service in mid-2016.