Client: Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd
Principle Contractor: Orcades Marine Management Consultants Ltd
Contractor: MMC Diving Services
Date posted: 11-03-2015
Sustainable Marine Energy's (SME) PLAT-O was designed from the outset with simplicity and flexibility in mind. All installation and maintenance operations for PLAT-O can be carried out with small, readily available vessels, avoiding the need to hire large heavy-lift ships. This also reduces the risks associated with weather downtime for project developers.
PLAT-O provides a step-change reduction in the cost of delivering tidal energy; one of the Earth's most abundant and reliable renewable energy sources. PLAT-O is a buoyant platform that is taut moored to the seabed using a bespoke anchoring solution that has also been developed by SME. It sits under the surface of the water and offers a number of other benefits including enhanced yield and survivability due to its position in the water column, which also ensures that surface vessels can pass safely overhead. Besides a surface marker buoy, the system is not visible on the surface.
MMC diving services carried out a detailed underwater video survey, removed debris from the screw piles, replaced all the buoyed risers, and carried out the recovery of a 48mm wire strop attached to two x5 tonne anchors. Efficiency and timing were paramount as all these works had to be carried out within a very small diving window.
The operations were run using small vessels, demonstrating that a step change reduction in the cost of installing tidal energy devices can be achieved.
The previous results of the sea trial provide increasing confidence in the potential for tidal streams to provide a commercially viable source of renewable energy.