In 2021 the Port of London Authority (PLA) designated a site in the river to facilitate scale and full-size trials of the types of schemes that could be used in an environment, used and built up as it is of the tidal Thames. Applicants are expected to trial both their scale and full size systems on site, or at least the full-size systems before they can be deployed elsewhere in the Thames to facilitate risk management and full scale testing, if there isn’t available data to meet the requirements of the PLA and other regulators.
Thames Estuary, Gallions Reach, Royal Borough of Greenwich London.
What the PLA provides to technology developers:
- The PLA will facilitate a change to the moorings for the scale test between February and April. No full scale will be permitted during this spring season.
- Provide two agreements under confidential requirement. The agreements are spilt between a scale test and a full scale trial.
- Promote the use of the mooring and announcements of trials when in situ.
- The PLA retains the right to use the moorings for other purposes if not under any agreement for tidal energy.
- Should the technology be abandoned or not be managed in line with the agreement the PLA retains the right to remove the equipment at the operators cost.
What the operator is expected to do:
In order to gain an agreement the operator must provide the information (under NDA if necessary) to reassure the PLA:
- dimension and mechanism of system proposed;
- reassurance that the pull/strain is within the mooring limits with drag calculation;
- facilitate the use appropriate lights and radar reflection in the design;
- undertake regular inspection of mooring lines and maintain ropes and securing points in order to prevent break out from the mooring.
The operator must notify the PLA of intended periods of use at least 2 months beforehand and have the relevant agreements and consents available for inspection by the PLA.
The operator is responsible and suitably insured for any damage that must be put right to the infrastructure and river assets in the vicinity of the mooring as a result of its activity.
The operator is expected to collect and share relevant data during the full-scale trial to satisfy the following requirements from the PLA, and any additional requirements by the EA and any other regulator during the full-size trial and for any wider deployment;
- Sediment and bed movement before and after the use
- Raw data and report, including analysis of distance of effect for EA Flood Defence requirements.
- Location tracking to monitoring twist and strain within moorings
- Report, data must be available on demand in the event of an incident
- Screening and fish monitoring as required in terms of management of entrainment or acoustic impacts, in line with EA guidance.
- Data and reporting
- Noise monitoring*
- Underwater/acoustic and ambient monitoring
- * dependent on type of system used and its intended use in the wider Thames Estuary
- Observations of power generation and suitability of deployment at preferred site or area of river
- Report including analysis of potential application
These data requirements are not required for the short term, scale trial in the spring season, unless the size/type demands the need.
Successful trials with provision of all the relevant required reporting will then be considered for river works licences and can approach staff leading the PLA’s Investment Plan if relevant.
Initial enquiries are to the Environment team via email@example.com
Test site is open for use from 2020.
Key Environmental Issues
The estuary is home to significant populations of important migrating fish species, local populated area and busy river with a high sediment load.
Baseline Assessment: Tidal Thames Test Site
|Receptor||Study Description||Design and Methods||Results||Status|
|Marine Mammals||Baseline marine mammal observations||Observational records||NA||In Progress|
|Fish||Baseline fish observation data||Trac Survey data and planning records||NA||In Progress|
|Birds||Baseline bird observation data||Trac Survey data and planning records||NA||In Progress|
|Invertebrates||Baseline invertebrate data||Trac Survey data and planning records||NA||In Progress|
|Physical Environment||Hydrographic surveys||Measure of the depth and bottom configuration of water bodies as per port requirements||NA||Ongoing|