In the drive towards a carbon-free society, tidal energy has the potential to become a valuable part of the UK energy supply. Developments are subject to intense scrutiny, and potential environmental impacts must be assessed. Unfortunately many of these impacts are still poorly understood, including the implications that come with altering the hydrodynamics. Here, methods are proposed to quantify ecological impact and to incorporate its minimisation into the array design process. Four tidal developments in the Pentland Firth are modelled with the array optimisation tool OpenTidalFarm, that designs arrays to generate the maximum possible profit. Maximum entropy modelling is used to create habitat suitability maps for species that respond to changes in bed-shear stress. Changes in habitat suitability caused by an altered tidal regime are assessed. OpenTidalFarm is adapted to simultaneously optimise array design to maximise both this habitat suitability and to maximise the profit of the array. The problem is thus posed as a multi-objective optimisation problem, and a set of Pareto solutions found, allowing trade-offs between these two objectives to be identified. The methods proposed generate array designs that have reduced negative impact, or even positive impact, on the habitat suitability of specific species or habitats of interest.
The trade-off between tidal-turbine array yield and environmental impact: A habitat suitability modelling approach
Title: The trade-off between tidal-turbine array yield and environmental impact: A habitat suitability modelling approach
May 04, 2019
Journal: Renewable Energy
Volume: In Press
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
du Feu, R.; Funke, S.; Kramer, S.; Hill, J.; Piggott, M. (2019). The trade-off between tidal-turbine array yield and environmental impact: A habitat suitability modelling approach. Renewable Energy, In Press.