Video: Sustainable Marine Energy rocks EMEC

Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has installed four subsea rock anchors in the challenging tidal flows of the Falls of Warness ahead of the deployment of its PLAT-O 1 tidal energy platform at the site.

The anchors will be used to moor SME’s PLAT-O tidal energy platform which will be shortly deployed at EMEC, SME informed.

Marine operations were performed from Leask Marine’s multicat C-Salvor, using the Anchoring Remotely Operated Vehicle (AROV) which has been developed in-house at SME over the past 3 years.

Jason Hayman, SME Managing Director, said: “We would like to acknowledge all of the support we have had throughout the delivery of our anchor project. It has extended all the way from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Innovate UK down to our development partners Rockbit UK and Leask Marine who have gone out of their way to make everything possible.”

The AROV was first used in the Solent in 2014 for the installation of helical screw piles into the clay seabed to moor PLAT-O for its initial Yarmouth trials.

Since then the company has tackled two streams of technology development: development of an expanding rock anchor that requires no grout for installation, and integrating the required technology in the AROV package to enable remote installation at 30+ m of water depth in an extreme tidal environment.

The 3.5 m length anchors have a nominal holding capacity of 100 t dependent on the type of the rock, according to SME.

The company is now working to develop a range of anchors with even greater holding capacity and suitable for a range of substrates.

David Stoddart-Scott, Head of Project Development at SME, said: “Not only are we making great progress with the PLAT-O platform, but we are also developing subsea anchoring solutions. We will be offering these to the marine industry as a whole. Whilst we will be busy deploying anchors for our own projects, we have also had a number of enquiries from a range of companies who are looking to benefit from our innovative technology. We are in the early stages, but substantial cost savings over conventional gravity anchors are possible.”

Stoddart-Scott added the company considers its anchoring solution will be a tempting prospect to the marine energy and aquaculture industries, with the first customer deployment for a wave energy developer expected to take place later this year.

Take a look at the video released by SME showcasing the development story of its Raptor 100 subsea rock anchors from beginnings in subsea screw anchors in 2014, right up to the installation of SME’s 4th rock anchor at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in May 2016.