Ocean Kinetics and Green Marine (UK), have finished the first phase of decommissioning of the OpenHydro tidal energy platform in the Orkney Islands.

Scottish duo completes first phase of OpenHydro tidal platform decommissioning

Two Scottish companies, Ocean Kinetics and Green Marine (UK), have finished the first phase of decommissioning of the OpenHydro tidal energy platform in the Orkney Islands.

Source: Ocean Kinetics

The decommissioning is taking place at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC’s) Falls of Warness test site.

EMEC awarded the contract to decommission the facility, previously operated by OpenHydro for its tidal turbine technology, in early April this year, while the search for the contractor for the removal started in August 2021.

In June, the two Scottish companies made a joint venture (JV) partnership in order to decommission OpenHydro’s tidal energy platform. 

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“The test rig has two steel piles, which are drilled and grouted into the seabed, with a steel superstructure forming the work area. Two steel collars were attached to the piles for raising and lowering the device into the tide with 15 tonne hydraulic winches. We were contracted to remove the steel superstructure, cut the piles, disconnect and terminate the cables,” said the Managing Director of Ocean Kinetics, John Henderson.

“The superstructure has been removed and we are now working on the pile removal and cable termination.”

Ocean Kinetics divers, riggers, welders, and ROV operators work with Green Marine’s offshore management, vessel, mooring, and cable services. Both companies handle the operational engineering, cutting, and heavy lifting, said Ocean Kinetics.

“This project demonstrates how well placed we are to deliver contracts of size and scale in challenging conditions. We have created a formidable team – drawing on the expertise and experience of both companies in managing a wide range of complex marine-related projects – from decommissioning and retrieval of fishing boats and aquaculture-related barges and equipment to subsea servers and port gates,” added Henderson.

According to Ocean Kinetics, diamond wire cutting machines will cut each pile foundation flush with the seabed to restore it to its original condition.

OpenHydro was the first developer to use the tidal test site at the Fall of Warness off the island of Eday when it installed the test rig and the 250 kW open-centered turbine in 2006. 

The OpenHydro was the first tidal turbine to be grid-connected in Scotland and subsequently the first to successfully generate electricity to the national grid in the UK. The test platform at the Fall of Warness test site was used to streamline its tidal turbine technology until its liquidation in 2018.