The international consortium behind the FLOating RAdar (FLORA) project has held the kick-off meeting to formalize the start of a scheme that will develop and demonstrate an industrial-scale prototype of a multi-purpose ocean station with renewable energy generation and operational oceanography capabilities, dubbed the FLORA Ocean Station.
Equipped with a novel sensor suite for bird and biodiversity data acquisition, the FLORA O.S. will be deployable as a low environmental impact system, according to developers which received funding for the project via European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).
As an automated data acquisition tool, the FLORA O.S. is expected to accelerate oceanic multi-use by facilitating marine spatial planning and consenting for the offshore renewable energy industry, like floating and fixed offshore wind.
The station’s power generation system will be hybridized with wave and solar energy, thus making the system more reliable as a remote oceanic sensor in different marine environments.
Also, the cross-border consortium of partners will strengthen collaboration within the Atlantic Maritime Strategy Member states to take the technology on the path towards commercialization.
The detailed design is already completed, and the development will be realized by Wedge Global (Spain), with Composite Solutions (Portugal) to construct the base structure and Daretech (Ireland) to develop the energy storage and power monitoring sub-systems.
Elittoral (Spain) will design the environmental sensing program and also advise the project as an end-user, ensuring that the project includes the ‘voice of the customer’, while Laminak Energy (France) will lead the go-to-market study as well as dissemination and communication actions.
Roger Espejo, chief innovation officer of Wedge Global and project manager of the FLORA project, said: “FLORA brings a new chapter to multi-use platforms by combining renewable energy and ocean observation: a highly synergetic coupling. The innovation promises to be a game-changer for remote ocean observation and big ocean data.”
Through the 2-year project, the consortium will work to achieve validation through a real-scale demonstration in operational environment (TRL 7) which will facilitate technology optimization.
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