Objectives

 

The objectives of The Blue Growth Farm project are:

  • To design a low-cost, corrosion-resistant, low-maintenance modular concrete floating multi-purpose offshore platform, capable of accommodating aquaculture, wind and wave energy systems and then to test and validate this design through the construction and sea deployment a pilot scale platform
  • To study integration of a commercial offshore wind turbine system (10MW), and a number of wave energy systems, already successfully built and tested in the marine environment, in order to meet all the platform’s own energy needs (zero-carbon solution) and export the excess energy to the onshore grid, fulfilling energy quality requirements and employing innovative solutions for offshore connection to grid
  • To design a highly automated aquaculture system, capable of producing fish at industrial level in harsh offshore environments by exploiting the calmer conditions of a sheltered central pool within the platform, as well utilising the large storage and deck areas offered by surrounding concrete structure.
  • To design and integrate a metocean condition system and maritime surveillance unit to provide high quality meteorological and oceanographic data relevant to the platform’s production monitoring and control, and to produce real-time data to share with relevant maritime surveillance authorities, thereby contributing to the enforcement of the EU Maritime Security Strategy
  • To design a docking system able to accommodate specialized vessels required to support the aquaculture production and maintenance operations as well as a range of other vessels from recreational boats to medium size vessels, equipped with electric or hybrid propulsion systems, so that the facility can be used as a sea-based recharging station.
  • To develop a sustainable business model for the platform, with detailed assessment of costs including advanced LCA-LCC optimization, maximizing the use of commercial off-the -shelf (COTS) components, and a full analysis of the economics of using the platform to produce a variety of fish species in different locations with differing sea and wind energy conditions.
  • To engage with a wide range of different stakeholders and institutions via workshops aimed at linking all aspects of the project with local knowledge and stakeholders’ insight to enable participatory knowledge creation, in a dynamic two-way exchange where future actions can emerge
  • To evaluate the training needs and Health & Safety issues related to the design and operation of the platform, to be confirmed by the results from the sea trials, in order to establish guidelines for the professional skills and competence requirements of potential commercial operators
  • To undertake an overall environmental impact assessment of a full scale platform, identifying mitigation solutions, and to design a monitoring plan capable of producing further knowledge with respect to SoA solutions
  • To produce Best Practice guidelines by combining different knowledge inputs (science, stakeholders, authorities, risk justified decision makers) to generate novel insights with regard to the management of sea space for multiple uses, thereby contributing to implementation of the EU Integrated Maritime Strategy, as well as to MSF Directive

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement number 774426