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Integration of Ocean Energy Plants into Distribution and Transmission Electrical Grids

Start: 2007 | End: 2011

The aim of this Task was to conduct cooperative research concerning the generation, transmission, and economics of integrating ocean energy into electrical grids and to provide a forum for relevant information exchange.

Specific objectives:

  • Identify potential differences and opportunities associated with integration of wave and tidal current energy plants to electrical grids, in comparison to wind energy,
  • Develop a relevant interconnection guideline for electrical utilities and/or project developers considering connecting pilot wave and tidal current projects to the grids,
  • Create a comprehensive database for characterizing well advanced wave and tidal current conversion systems,
  • Demonstrate integration of wave & tidal current energy plants to electrical grids through case studies involving simplified network modeling techniques, and identify the near-term & longer-term practical level of the ocean power that could be integrated in target geographical areas for a member country, and
  • Coordinate the work of this Annex with relevant activities being carried out within IEA as well as by individual participating members.


The programme consisted on the following Subtasks:

Subtask 3.1: Identify issues and opportunities

Identification of integration issues that are different from those involved with the integration of wind energy and the opportunities associated with the integration of ocean energy. 

Subtask 3.2: Describe the dynamic characteristics of ocean energy electricity generators

The scope of this subtask included:

  • Reviewing the steady-state power characteristics of device types
  • Developing a dynamic model for devices
  • Analyzing the impact of a wave/tidal current generator on the design of an offshore network

Subtask 3.3: Identify the near-term and longer-term practical potential of ocean power, through case studies involving the integration of ocean energy plants with distribution and transmission networks

The scope of this subtask included carrying out case studies involving network modelling for integrating ocean energy plants into distribution and transmission networks.


Task 3 was concluded in March 2011 with publication of the following reports:

Potential Opportunities and Differences Associated with Integration of Ocean Wave and Marine Current Energy Plants in Comparison to Wind Energy
J. Khan, G. Bhuyan and A. Moshref (2009)

Key Features and Identification of Needed Improvements to Existing Interconnection Guidelines for Facilitating Integration of Ocean Energy Pilot Projects
J. Khan, G. Bhuyan, and A. Moshref (2009)

Dynamic characteristics of wave and tidal energy converters & a recommended structure for development of a generic model for grid connection
D. O’ Sullivan, D. Mollaghan, A.Blavette and R.Alcorn (2010)

Integrating Wave and Tidal Current Power: Case Studies through Modelling and Simulation
M. S. Múgica, F. S. Fernandez , J. L. Mendia , J. Khan, D. Leon, S. Arabi, A. Moshref, G. Bhuyan, A. Blavette, D. O’Sullivan, R. Alcorn (2011)


The OES is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and publications of the OES do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.