Photo: Sustainable Marine's next-gen rock anchor installation system (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

Sustainable Marine launches ‘next-gen’ anchor installation system for offshore renewables

Blue economy solutions provider Sustainable Marine has unveiled its next generation rock anchor installation system for offshore renewables, including tidal energy and floating wind.

Sustainable Marine's next-gen rock anchor installation system (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)
Sustainable Marine’s next-gen rock anchor installation system (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

The novel system, dubbed AROV2, is the culmination of a decade of research, development and demonstration into direct embedment anchors drilled into the seabed.

It will form a key asset for Sustainable Marine’s new ‘Swift Anchors’ division, which offers a broad range of solutions to facilitate faster and more cost-effective mooring installations for the offshore renewables sector, including floating wind, according to the company.

Swift Anchors’ technology has been informed by Sustainable Marine’s vast experience deploying its own brand of floating tidal energy platforms. It has further benefited from Scotland’s world-class offshore expertise, including extensive underwater robotics, initially developed for the region’s oil and gas sector and now supporting the marine renewables movement.

AROV2 was assembled by Brimmond Group, with the control system and hydraulics module supplied by subsea engineering specialist SMD. Outreach Offshore supplied the integrated control cabin and umbilical winch, and Dales Engineering Services offered fabrication work support.

Swift Anchors managing director David Ainsworth said the operation is poised to support the anticipated lift-off in floating wind, with more than 15GW of installed capacity expected by 2030, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Ainsworth said: “Swift Anchors is officially open for business after successfully completing FAT (Factory Acceptance Testing) for our next-gen anchor installation system. The system has been designed with capability expansion in mind for longer and larger anchors to support the massive future opportunity in floating offshore wind.

“It can install anchors with more than a thousand tonnes of holding capacity, addressing the requirements for floating wind for the next decade.

We are hugely grateful to our supply chain who have been instrumental in the completing this milestone, and we will now press on to demonstrate the system in use using Sustainable Marine Canada’s vessel, the Tidal Pioneer, in Nova Scotia, installing anchors to moor the firm’s floating tidal energy platforms at the highly energetic FORCE demonstration site. It will then be used to install anchors for ORPC’s TidGen deployment in Maine.”

AROV2 system (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)
AROV2 system (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

The next-gen system is capable of installing Swift Anchors’ full range of anchor solutions including large helical screw anchors in sand, shingle and clay; rock anchors into a range of rocks and grouted piles for mixed seabed geologies. Typically, the rock anchors will provide an alternative to drag embedment and gravity anchors for floating wind in areas with rocky seabeds.

It consists of a control cabin and constant tension umbilical winch which is integrated into a 20’ container. The remotely operated machine features a 150kW subsea HPU enabling operation at depths of circa 200 meters, with the ability to extend up to 1,000 meters simply by using a longer electrical and control umbilical if required.

Jason Hayman, Sustainable Marine’s CEO, said: “This is another exciting milestone in Sustainable Marine’s journey, as we continue to develop technologies that can help to unlock the full potential of renewable energy deployments in the marine environment.

“Swift Anchors will provide solutions, not only for the tidal energy industry, but will help enable the development of a truly sustainable blue economy, by opening up opportunities for developers to deploy systems in a wider range of sites. Our first tidal energy clients will benefit from the use of this technology later this year, and we are look forward to helping shape the next tranche of floating wind projects being deployed in Scottish waters and beyond.”

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