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First phase of tidal array cabling project hailed a success

Published:  20 November, 2015

The first phase of a major project to investigate cost-effective methods of cable laying for tidal energy arrays has been hailed a success.

Funded by Scottish Enterprise, the £2.4m Tidal Array Cabling Solution project was launched in December 2013 to develop and demonstrate effective methods of locating, securing, protecting and retrieving cables for tidal energy arrays.

Stromness-based Aquatera was awarded a contract to undertake two demonstration projects. The first of these, completed in partnership with subsea engineering and training firm, Jee Ltd, involved the construction and deployment of Jee’s ‘U-tube’ cabling protection structure in Orkney.

The project involved lifting, moving, positioning and recovering the 50m long Jee cable protection system – thought to be the largest single dimensioned structure yet lifted, moved and placed for the wave and tidal sector. Tests of this array cabling solution were carried out at EMEC’s Shapinsay Sound tidal test site.

Several support companies from Orkney’s marine energy supply chain also played a key role in the project, which saw a novel configuration of local vessels used to install the 50m long structure.

The vessel spread used included a specialised heavy-lift barge – belonging to Stromness firm Green Marine – along with a tow vessel and MulticCat provided by Green Marine and a second MultiCat vessel operated by Scotmarine. These vessels were supported with a quayside duel crane lift by Heddle Construction. Management of the marine operation by Aquatera was backed up by Orcades Marine.

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