Wave and tidal current conversion technologies are advancing to the commercial stage. The conversion processes involved are highly diverse and novel, and the energy resources are variable. Several pilot projects are now connected to electrical grids, and some large-scale projects are in planning stages.
Network interconnection guidelines are essential elements to accommodate such alternative energy technologies in the more traditional marketplace. These frameworks not only accelerate the system design process, but also bring confidence amongst the network owners and operators. Development of appropriate interconnection guidelines, based on solid technical understanding of power outputs from the conversion devices and local grid constraints, will pave the path for market integration of ocean power.
Several interconnection guidelines and standards already exist for connecting generating technologies with variable power outputs, such as wind and photovoltaic (PV). Ocean energy, being a nascent field of energy engineering, can benefit significantly by adapting the technological solutions available from these industries.
The IEA-OES Executive Committee approved an Annex (Annex III) in 2007 with an overall aim: to provide a forum for information exchange and co-operative research related to the short-term and long-term integration of ocean energy into electrical systems. The Annex consisted of three work-packages and co-ordination with other relevant initiatives within IEA.
This report presents the work carried out through Work Package 1 of the Annex. It focuses on analyzing existing interconnection guidelines, codes and standards. Based on the analysis, the report identifies the areas where these guidelines could be modified to develop a suitable marine energy interconnection guideline. It is suggested that existing wind (onshore/offshore) energy standards, once revised in the marine energy context, will aid both small-scale pilot or large-scale commercial projects.