SUBMARINER will work on developing a plan for implementation of offshore algae cultivation in the Danish region of Zealand, and specifically in the Municipality of Lolland.
Lolland is an island community located on the Baltic Sea, which is shallow and relatively calm in the vicinity of the island, making the region amenable to experimentation with algal cultivation. Additionally, Lolland is the site of the world’s first and one of the largest offshore wind farms, which could be suitably used for growing algae. The grid of wind towers provides a stable, accessible infrastructure that would be the foundation of an algal containment system and the abundant local wind power could be cleverly used to control culture conditions, to harvest, and even process algae.
Such an offshore algae cultivation system was already preliminarily investigated during a 2009 international algae conference held in Lolland, which assembled a vast team of scientists, engineers, economists and ecologists for a three-day intensive study of offshore algae cultivation for fuels. This conference produced a prelimary report assessing the feasibility, scalability and impact of establishing an offshore algal energy facility, but further work has to be implemented to transform these conference proceedings into concrete development plans.
Within SUBMARINER, LOKE intends to work on the scientific, engineering, environmental, economic and policy issues surrounding the implementation of an offshore algae production on the island of Lolland, and broadly in other suitable areas in Region Zealand. This includes gathering information on:
- The most up-to-date knowledge about growing algae offshore (saline water)
- Technical screening for various cultivation systems
- Technical screening of the current offshore wind farms as well as some of the planned ones, since they are expected to differ from existing ones (i.e. construction, size, distances between the individual mills, localization of cables and monitoring equipment) to clarify the potential localization possibilities for an offshore algae cultivation installation
- Biological data from existing plants (e.g. growth on foundations)
- Regulatory demands
LOKE will also initiate discussions with various energy production companies to communicate its ideas about the potential in future combined uses.