A new ocean biodiversity monitoring system has gone live in the Mediterranean to provide real time environmental data.
The pilot OCG-Data Blue Oracle (Buoy with Lidar and Underwater Equipment for Ocean Resource Assessment and Characterisation of Life in the Environment), is now anchored 30km offshore Leucate in the Occitanie region in 95m water depth: in one of the pre-selected zones of the Mediterranean Floating Wind Tender (AO6). The buoy data acquisition system is fully operational and high resolution metocean and biodiversity data is already being acquired.
Ocergy, which leads the project partly sponsored by ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), is joined by strategic partners Skyborn Renewables, Tachysséma Développement, University of Perpignan CREM and Sens of Life playing key roles in the project. In addition, the scientific committee composed of CRPMEM, Ecocean, Ocean Winds, Semantic-T.S., Chorus, and Bureau Veritas has provided important input to the project.
Ocergy is deeply thankful to the project major suppliers, including Brodosplit for the buoy fabrication, Jifmar for the offshore installation and Vryhof for the anchor and mooring supply. The buoy is fitted with TP Product structural compact flanges, and a Vaisala Windcube lidar. The buoy was assembled at Euroports Marine Renewable Energy terminal in Port-la-Nouvelle.
“This key milestone closes the first year of the project, and the scientific teams are excited to embark in the data acquisition and analysis year-long phase, which is expected to provide valuable biodiversity and environmental information,” said Christian Cermelli, president of Ocergie SAS.
“In addition, this buoy serves as a one-third scale pilot of our OCG-Wind Floating Offshore Wind foundation with important return on experience expected to further mature our FOW design. This project is being supported by ADEME in the framework of the Program of investments for the future.”
OCG-Wind is an efficient floating foundation supporting the new generation of very large offshore wind turbines. The innovative hull allows the platform to have a very light weight, a necessity to reduce LCOE. It is tailored towards ease of industrialisation, to bring flexibility in fabrication and increase use of the local supply chain in the project fabrication life cycle.
OCG-Data is an innovative multi-disciplinary ocean observer for complete offshore site assessment. It has enough payload to host and power multiple instrumentation packages for resource and environmental characterisation. Underwater biodiversity monitoring relies on the combination of underwater ecological restoration technologies and passive acoustic monitoring arrays. The buoy also hosts a bird and bat detection and identification system. OCG-Data provides high-quality data including ecological information for stakeholders’ engagement.