SEAI to support innovation in ocean energy in Ireland with Apple
11th November 2015: Today the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Apple to promote the development of ocean energy in Ireland. Apple has committed a €1 million fund that will help developers who receive an SEAI grant to test their ocean energy prototypes in the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.
Welcoming the announcement Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White T.D. “The west coast of Ireland is recognised as having some of the best wave resources in the world and I warmly welcome this agreement between Apple and SEAI to help harness this renewable source of energy. "This is an excellent achievement for Ireland and shows that when it comes to ocean energy development, Ireland is definitely open for business.”
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Apple. Its track record in development and innovation is second to none and its support to the emerging wave energy industry will be a major boost nationally.” said Dr Brian Motherway, SEAI’s CEO.
The Galway Bay test site, in operation since 2006, is a state of the art facility which enables the testing of wave energy technologies at quarter scale.
“We're excited by the potential of ocean energy to someday serve as a source of clean power for the data centre we are building in Athenry, County Galway," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. "We are deeply committed to powering all our facilities with 100 percent renewable energy and believe investing in innovative projects will make reaching our goal easier."
Note to editors:
SEAI Ocean Energy Prototype Development Fund
Funding for the wave energy device testing is provided through SEAI’s Ocean Energy Prototype Development Fund. This programme aims to accelerate the sector through supporting the research, development, testing and deployment of wave and tidal energy devices. The emphasis is on industry-led projects, and covers a broad scope of activities. The programme was launched in 2009 and to date in total the programme has supported 68 projects with grant support of €11.8 million
The €1 million Apple fund will provide up to a quarter of a million euro each year for four years commencing in 2016. Ocean energy developers who successfully qualify for an SEAI grant to test their devices in Galway Bay can apply for additional support through the fund.
Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site
SEAI and the Marine Institute established Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site 2006. The unique wave climate in Galway Bay allow reduced scale prototypes of Wave Energy Converters (WEC’s), and other supporting components, to be tested with reduced costs and lower levels of risk before progressing to full scale deployments. The site has previously hosted technology developers such as Ocean Energy Ltd., WaveBob and Technology From Ideas. In October 2015 SEAI announced that Irish SeaPower will receive over €1million through the Ocean Energy Prototype Development Fund to test their wave energy converter at quarter scale in Galway Bay.
The Galway Bay site has been significantly enhanced in 2015 with the installation of 4km cable connection to shore and an underwater ocean observatory. This infrastructure will provide power and high bandwidth delivery of data to and from devices undergoing testing at the site and also enable the use of cameras, probes and sensors to permit continuous and remote live underwater monitoring. The test site is managed by SmartBay Ireland, who provide additional support and operation services to companies deploying technologies in Galway Bay.