Leader: Erik Damgaard Christensen, DTU
The general aim of WP1 to provide administrative management to the project, which will ensure that the project achieves its objectives.
Leader: Marian Stuiver, DLO
WP2 aims to put the simultaneous integration of technical, economic, ecological, spatial and societal objectives at the heart of the development of MUPs, by involving all stakeholders in the entire design process, thus integrating ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ design requirements. The basis of participatory design is the notion of incorporating the users and other relevant stakeholders in the design process. The focus is on collaborating with the intended users throughout the design and development process, rather than designing a system for them. Central to this WP is a cyclical, iterative and participatory process of scoping, envisioning and learning through which a shared interpretation of MUPS is developed and applied in an integrated manner. Two principles underlie this approach:
Leader: Iñigo J. Losada, UNICAN
The main aim of WP3 is to contribute to the exploration of conceptual technical designs of innovative integrated offshore platforms to harvest ocean energy and offshore wind together with other utilizations such as aquaculture and transportation (MUPs).
This WP shall mainly review existing and in-progress technologies of the different subsystems required for the structural and functional elements of the MUPs, namely the overall layout, the substructure, energy convertors, grid connection and compatibility between them for the final purpose of integration. Regarding the overall layout, the following concepts will be explored:
WP3 will also estimate the availability of ocean renewable energy resources at a selection of sites where combined sources can be considered. Additionally it aims to identify the relevant impacts which are associated with the development and operation of the concepts at hand. Based on this information a parameter map can be developed which will assist in finding the best suited technical conceptual design for a given location. This information will serve as a basis for a refined design to be carried out in WP7 for the selected study sites. For each of the different tasks within this WP, specific research will be carried out to improve our knowledge on the different subsystems considered.
Leader: Flemming Møhlenberg, DHI
The general objective of WP4 is to develop, test and document sustainable and environmental-friendly and cost –efficient offshore production systems. Based on present and near-future market demands offshore fish farming (salmon and trout in NE Atlantic/Baltic, seabream and seabass in the Mediterranean) has the strongest potential, followed by shellfish culture (mussels, oysters and carpet shells) while seaweed (e.g. Saccharina) production should been seen as supportive element acting as mitigating nutrient release and a novel wave damping device protecting the other aquaculture production units. Harvested seaweed could be used as high-value products or in biorefinery processes.
Seen from commercial perspective most offshore farms seem over-developed and too costly. Fish farms moored offshore in high-energy environments, experience numerous environmental conditions that differ from near-shore aquaculture farms, including exposure to strong wind and waves from all directions creating severe conditions that can prevent operators from being able to access their farms for longer periods.
Aquaculture developments also at offshore locations raise issues of concern in terms of environmental impacts and ecosystem health. For aquaculture systems to be sustainable, they should not cause damage to natural systems by critically increasing (e.g. nutrients) or decreasing the concentrations of natural substances (e.g. chlorophyll). Other potential impacts relate to increasing concentration of man-made substances, such as persistent chemicals and through physical disturbance leading to habitat changes. Besides, at increasing distance from coast and larger depth, abundance of pelagic larvae from epibenthic organisms generally decrease making nets, rings and anchor ropes less vulnerable to fouling. In effect, offshore aquaculture could also lead reduced needs of antifouling paints thereby reducing environmental impacts.
Leader: Jan-Joost Schouten, Deltares
The main objective of WP5 is to support the design phase of MUPs (multi-use offshore platforms) with advanced and applicable tools based on extensive experience, available data and research.
When designing an offshore multi-use platform the interaction between the platform and the environment should be analysed in detail for reasons of technical and economical feasibility, environmental impact and assessing the potential of incorporating multiple functionalities including logistical aspects. This WP will focus on the interaction between the MUP, the meteorological and hydrodynamic conditions as well as the seabed. These environmental conditions vary significantly along the European seas. In order to make MERMAID’s designs of MUP’s applicable in various locations over Europe, four representative regional seas will be studied, i.e. North Sea, Mediterranean, Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Coast of France and Spain. The interaction between the MUP and the environment depends on the type of support structure. Fixed (i.e. mono-piles, jackets or gravity-based-structures (GBS)) and floating structures will be considered.
Complementing to other WP’s
An important task of WP5 is to support the design of the MUPs (which are developed under WP2, with a wide range of stakeholders) on feasibility and optimization of various different functions. It is essential to have detailed collaboration between WP2 and WP5, resulting in interaction between the technical designers and stakeholders. Therefore time is reserved under WP5 to integrate the outcome of the workshops (during which stakeholders will come up with non-technical design requirements and will comment on the preliminary designs) in the technical designs. In addition, the hydrodynamic numerical models setup under WP5, and the results of various proposed assessments on detailed processes, will be used to support several tasks in the other WP’s
Leader: Wei He, STATOIL
The aim of WP6 is to develop the operator’s decision support tool-box for the MUP installation, operation and maintenance. The numerical tools which will be used include:
A business case will illustrate the MUP design, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. The MUP case includes an energy extraction facility (200×5 MW wind farm), an aquaculture farm (100 km2), and marine services for MUP and public.
The synergies and the disadvantages of the MUP comparison to the offshore wind farm will be quantitatively assessed with regard to the yield, cost and impacts on the marine environment.
Leader: Barbara Zanuttigh, UniBo
The main objective of WP7 is to develop at study sites innovative plans and design for multi-purpose off-shore platforms. This will be achieved by integrating the work within the other WPs and by developing an integrated multidisciplinary approach for the selection of a sustainable platform plan and design.
The MERMAID studies will combine results from all other WPs in real world demonstration. Each pilot study research manager will be located close to the site itself and will have direct links with industrial, legal and societal institutions concerned to marine spatial planning, platform installation and management. A series of possible design options and industrial interaction will be scoped and implemented on a site by site basis. The extent and focus of this interaction will vary from site to site and will depend upon the existence and or flexibility of policies and social, economic and environmental management schemes or constraints.
Two specific tools are envisaged and make up important deliverables of the project:
Leader: Phoebe Koundouri, AUEB
The main aim of WP8 is to assess the socio-economic viability of novel designs of multi-use offshore platforms. In the framework of analysis that will be developed, economic viability is achieved when the following conditions are simultaneous satisfied:
It is also important to note that this analysis will allow direct comparison of offshore multi-use platforms with non-multi-use solutions. The output of WP7 that identifies innovative platform plans and designs will form a solid base for this analysis.
Leader: Simon Claus, VLIZ
The main objective of WP9 is to establish an efficacious collaboration and exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between, the scientific community, coastal and marine authorities, the industry and potential end users.
Other objectives include the dissemination of the results of the project to the scientific community, authorities and potential end users, and the information of the public at large and relevant end users and stakeholders about the concept of multi-use offshore platforms.