The renewables sector must evolve to be able to meet market demand. Renewable energy research and development (R&D) is vital, whether it's ensuring accurate feasibility data to support billion-dollar investment or meeting the complex challenges of consenting/permitting.
We are active in R&D related to renewables, which has benefits throughout the development lifecycle - from improving baseline studies all the way through to supporting the construction stage.
Discover some of our recent projects below.
Protected species monitoring requirements in the U.S. energy industry, including offshore wind development, feature a significant component of visual monitoring and real-time acoustic monitoring. New technologies could help these industries stay compliant. RPS has recently invested in drone technology for visual monitoring, with applications in marine industries such as offshore wind and platform decommissioning.
We will be acting as a metocean data hub and supporting governance and quality control – a vital part of an important project to promote data sharing.
In the US, we are collaborating with Saildrone to deploy advanced uncrewed observing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning (ML) technologies in order to create a line-of-sight monitoring network to detect, classify, and localise marine mammals in areas with offshore wind developments. The project was selected to receive a major award from the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC), aimed at facilitating offshore wind’s coexistence with wildlife and other ocean users.
Already limited windows of opportunity for on-site construction and operational maintenance are often reduced by changing weather and uncertainty regarding MetOcean conditions. Effectively navigating this complex network of challenges requires integrated software systems, like RPS OceansMap, to ensure success.
Uncertainty around bird behaviour creates a challenge for offshore wind consenting and makes Environmental Impact Assessments more difficult. An RPS study in partnership with DHI Group, commissioned by Vattenfall, has delivered important data on where birds fly in relation to wind farms and how they approach turbines. Using radar technology, software-linked to cameras, as well as AI, the study will contribute to our understanding of birds for risk assessment and mitigation. It is part of the €3 million Scientific Research and Monitoring Programme funded by Vattenfall’s EOWDC test and demonstration facility.
RPS Floating LIDAR buoys provide highly accurate data to inform offshore wind development. These innovative buoys offer world-leading measurement technology for uses such as site selection, yield optimisation, array engineering and workplace safety. They have recently celebrated a big milestone: collecting six years of data, with their comms systems yet to drop a single 10-minute transmission. What is more, transmission went uninterrupted even when two buoys in deep water took a direct hit from a typhoon!
The UK Government in the Energy Challenge Energy Review Report 2006 set targets for achieving 20% of electricity coming from renewable resources by 2020, and it is estimated that wave and tidal stream energy has the potential to meet up to 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand. The META project test site will support these goals by acting as a stepping-stone to full scale device development and deployment.
Could the outcomes of recently published research on minke whales and their responses to Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) in Iceland help to improve processes around gaining consent for offshore wind farm development?
RPS recently participated in a research study by the Marine Conservation Research team. The learnings from this study will add to our understanding of strategies to protect marine mammals, with possible benefits for offshore wind development projects.
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