MEECE is seen as a catalyst for research, technology innovation and testing and demonstration to accelerate the commercialisation of the wave, tidal and offshore wind sectors by reducing the cost of energy, improving efficiency and reliability, and supporting the growth of the Welsh supply chain.
Bangor University has particular strengths in physical oceanography research at the School of Ocean Sciences. Researchers at the School have developed advanced numerical modelling capabilities to characterise wave and tidal energy resources, as well as the impacts of extracting energy from the ocean. The School has also undertaken a plethora of survey work at potential marine energy sites around the Welsh coastline.
Bangor University will initially be involved in two MEECE projects, supporting Applied Petroleum Technology (APT) in the development of a user-friendly, cloud-based constraints mapping tool to streamline the development and planning of offshore wind farms, and Sea Watch Foundation (SWF) in the further development of a mobile app for the public to learn about and register sightings of cetaceans. These sightings are valuable information in assisting project developers during the consenting process of offshore renewable energy projects.
Leading the collaboration from Bangor University, Professor Simon Neill commented:
Our state-of-the-art ocean models, validated by data collected at sea, can inform industry on the optimum locations for siting marine renewable devices, and can forecast a whole range of variables from turbulence to the interaction of waves and tides. We are delighted to be involved in this project, which will further develop the Welsh marine energy resource on our path towards net zero.
Driving technology innovation
Bangor University is joined by Swansea, Cardiff and Cardiff Metropolitan universities in contributing to MEECE, which is based in Pembroke Dock, following implementation of the Swansea Bay City Deal.
Dr Stephen Wyatt, Research & Innovation Director for ORE Catapult, said:
“Having our university partners onboard will greatly enhance the MEECE offering to the Welsh offshore wind, wave and tidal energy sectors. We will be able to draw on their unique and world-leading facilities and expertise to complement our own and drive technology innovation, supporting existing businesses and new companies looking to set up in the region to grasp the huge economic opportunities on offer.”