Statistical assessment of the effect of a Wave Energy Converter in Falmouth Bay, UK

Jo Garrett, Matthew Witt, Philippe Blondel, L. Johanning

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Wave energy has the potential to contribute to the UK’s energy mix, producing electricity without producing carbon dioxide. This will have benefits in combatting global climate change, however, the technology may have local negative effects on the environment. A key concern is the potential for underwater noise pollution. Wave energy converters are a novel technology and little is known about the underwater sounds produced.
A wave energy converter (WEC; BOLT Lifesaver, Fred Olsen Ltd.) was deployed at the Falmouth Bay marine renewable energy test site (FaBTest). The underwater sound levels were recorded at this site for a two-week baseline period, a five-day installation period and intermittent operational and non-operational activity from March 2012 - November 2013 resulting in 14 months of underwater sound recordings.
The wave energy converter sounds are often masked by shipping noise in Falmouth Bay. Previous research suggests the effect of this WEC on underwater sound during power production is minimal [1]. The aim of this paper is to test this using statistical models to quantify the effect of the wave energy converter on underwater sound during installation and operational activity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017
EventUnderwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition - Skiathos, Greece
Duration: 3 Sept 20178 Sept 2017


ConferenceUnderwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition


  • Marine Renewable Energy
  • underwater noise
  • Wave Energy Converter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Oceanography


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