UTEC guides Simec Atlantis’ tidal kit to its place

Offshore energy services provider Helix Robotics Solutions partnered with UTEC Survey, an Acteon Group company, to support the recent installation of Simec Atlantis’ demonstration tidal turbine in Japan.

Photo of Simec Atlantis' AR500 tidal turbine (Courtesy of Acteon)
Simec Atlantis’ AR500 tidal turbine (Courtesy of Acteon)

Helix Robotics Solutions contracted UTEC as strategic partner to provide survey and positioning services to support the installation of a 500kW tidal energy system in Japan’s Naru Strait, on behalf of end-client Simec Atlantis.

UTEC’s scope of work was to provide vessel positioning services onboard the installation vessel, the Grand Canyon 2.

Also, UTEC was at hand for subsea positioning operations of the ROV and turbine during deployment and installation on the foundation, and for the installation of the deep-water section of export cable.

UTEC also provided the as-laid survey of turbine and cable that were installed in the water depth of approximately 40 meters.

Operations were completed in January 2021, and the risks of challenging conditions and narrow operation windows due to high tidal currents were successfully mitigated, according to Acteon.

L J Pan, Head of Business Development – North-East Asia at Acteon, said: “This is an exciting project for Acteon to be involved with at such an early stage in a region where we are starting to establish and grow the market. We have successfully used data to enhance our field expertise and accelerate learning to improve designs and optimise operations for our client”.

The turbine has already started generation, clocking its first 10MWh of generation within the first ten days of operation in February.

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This is the first full-scale trial project of AR500 tidal turbine. The turbine has been temporarily installed subsea and run at 500kW output power while its performance is being monitored.

After at least six months the turbine will be recovered and inspected for wear and tear, while the foundation and export cables will remain offshore.

If trials are successful, these turbines could be re-used in a possible second phase project, subject to approval, according to Acteon.