Tethys Stories

Tethys Stories feature information on news, events, research, and projects relevant to wind and marine renewable energy development activities across the globe. Stories are contributed from individuals working in the field, and provide insight into advancing the energy industry in an environmentally responsible manner. If you are interested in providing content to be featured as a Tethys Story, please email dorian.overhus@pnnl.gov.

Author(s): Luke Hanna Date: October 05, 2015
The 11th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) was held in Nantes, France, September 6-11, 2015. As the premier academic conference in wave and tidal energy, EWTEC has primarily focused on technology engineering and modeling. Annex IV and Ocean Energy Systems (OES) partnered with the 11th EWTEC to expand upon the environmental focus of the conference, and increase participation by scientists and engineers examining environmental effects of marine renewable energy devices. This strategy resulted in a EWTEC high of 25 papers in 6 dedicated environmental sessions, as well as 3... Read More
Author(s): Cris Hein Date: July 23, 2015
Bat fatalities at wind energy facilities are a growing concern, particularly since bats have low reproductive rates and populations are slow to recover from long-term, large-scale impacts. Although bat carcasses have been reported underneath wind turbines since the early 1970’s, it was nearly 30 years before turbine-related bat fatalities received much attention. Over the past decade, our understanding of how and why bats interact with wind turbines has increased, with most data coming from the United States, Canada, and Europe. Yet, many questions remain unanswered even in these well-studied... Read More
Author(s): Andrea Copping & Trina Blake Date: July 02, 2015
The third annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) was held in Washington D.C., US April 27-29, 2015, in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC) and the National Hydropower Association. IMREC and METS brought together scientific and engineering experts, technology developers, policy makers, and regulators from the US and beyond to focus on marine renewable energy technologies, environmental effects, and facilitating advancement of the industry worldwide.   METS provides a venue for scientists and engineers to share and discuss current research... Read More
Author(s): Nikki Sather Date: March 20, 2015
The European Commission’s competitive Horizon 2020 programme has awarded €1.4 million to fund the Risk-based Consenting of Offshore Renewable Energy (RiCORE) project. Comprised of a team of experts from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and Scotland, the eighteen month project will examine ways to accelerate and streamline the environmental requirements associated with consents for offshore wind, wave, and tidal projects.   Issues surrounding consenting and evaluating potential environmental impacts are considered critical barriers to the deployment of offshore energy. “Offshore energy... Read More
Author(s): Kelly Ruehl, Chris Chartrand, and Jesse Roberts Date: February 23, 2015
As interest has grown in developing a range of low carbon renewables, harnessing the vast energy from ocean waves has become desirable. Although few arrays of wave energy converters (WECs) have been deployed worldwide, planning for wave farms requires that we understand the maximum amount of energy that can be extracted from waves, while ensuring that environmental responsibilities are met. Numerical models allow us to simulate arrangements of WECs to minimize harm to the environment, while optimizing the production of power, without incurring the enormous costs of deploying WECs in coastal... Read More
Author(s): Cameron McNatt and Michele Martini Date: October 03, 2014
Last May, a rural village in the Picos de Europa Mountains was inundated by offshore renewable energy knowledge. As part of the annual INORE Symposium, 60 to 70 early-stage researchers from around the globe and with a variety of backgrounds descended on La Vega, Spain, (regular population of about 160), to share their knowledge, learn from others, network, have fun, and leave inspired. These next-generation professionals will have formed bonds that will lead to future collaborations and lifetime colleagues and friends.     What is INORE? The International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy... Read More
Author(s): Anne Marie O'Hagan Date: September 05, 2014
The beautifully scenic Cork Harbour in the south of Ireland has several geographical and historical claims to fame. It is the second largest natural harbour in the world, in the 1700s it was home to the largest butter market in the world and at the beginning of the twentieth century it was the last stopping point for the Titanic before its ill-fated trip across the Atlantic. For hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants it was the site of their last moments on their home soil as they set sail in search of a new life to America, Australia, New Zealand and India. The idea of Cork Harbour as a... Read More
Author(s): Molly Grear Date: August 22, 2014
Plans to pin offshore wind turbines to the seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean have raised questions about potential risks to commercial shipping traffic, as vessels maneuver around the installations. To address this potential risk, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) scientists have developed an assessment of navigation safety risks, with support from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), working closely with BOEM and the US Coast Guard (USCG).   PNNL scientists worked with the very large set of Automated Identification System (AIS) data for shipping in the US. They extracted... Read More
Author(s): Molly Grear Date: August 08, 2014
A recent article in Current Biology entitled Marine mammals trace anthropogenic structures at sea highlights how marine mammals may interact with offshore windfarms.  As new larger scale installations become more common, research of this kind will support observations of in situ array-scale impacts of windfarms.  A team of scientists, headed by Deborah Russell of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), tracked tagged harbor seals and grey seals near two wind farms in the North Sea: Sheringham Shoal, with 88 3.6 MW turbines, is located in the south-east United Kingdom; and Alpha Ventus, with 12 5... Read More
Author(s): Andrea Copping Date: July 26, 2014
As wave and tidal devices are deployed in coastal waters and estuaries in countries around the world, there is intense interest in understanding how marine mammals, sea birds, fish, and sea turtles may interact with the machines underwater.  Will animals be at risk from rotating tidal turbine blades? Will they be attracted to the foundations, anchors, and devices? Will they sense the mooring lines and avoid them?  All these questions have prompted researchers to explore effective methods for viewing interactions between animals and a variety of tidal and wave energy generating devices. Active... Read More


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