MaREI Floats Swiss Army Knife of Offshore Platforms
MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine hosted by University College Cork, has been awarded EUR 9 million for the H2020 project MUSICA to build a pilot multi-use floating platform.
The platform is described as a decarbonising one-stop shop for small islands, including their marine initiatives (Blue Growth) and ecosystems.
MUSICA, which stands for Multiple Use of Space for Island Clean Autonomy, will pilot a floating offshore platform which will provide 70% of the electricity and 100% of fresh water for a small island with up to 2,000 inhabitants, MaREI said. The energy will be supplied via renewable energy and will be a combination of wind, PV and wave energy, and the desalinated water will be powered by renewable electricity.
The platform will also provide support infrastructure for local aquaculture, trialling an offshore aquaculture cage beside the platform, providing all the energy and feed for the cage to provide higher fish yields, and an environmentally green product, MaREI said. The provision of a floating refuelling station for yachts and boats means that they can recharge their batteries and stock up with fresh water without having to going into a busy marina, and pay high fees.
MaREI’s Gordon Dalton who is leading the project said: “A successful demonstration pilot of the MUSICA platform will place Ireland as the world leader in provide energy, water and aquaculture solutions for the important niche market of small island around the globe.”
The 5-year project which has 15 partners from seven EU Member States will develop complete business plans to move MUSICA to mass market commercialisation and will start by developing roadmaps for three trail case study islands: Malta, Canaries, and Chios in the Aegean.