Catching the Strangford Tide

22 April 2013

McLaughlin & Harvey are at the forefront in the development and deployment of tidal energy devices. Benefiting from our vast marine engineering experience and utilising specialist marine plant, these tidal devices can now be deployed by McLaughlin & Harvey globally.

Most recently, we completed the installation of a gravity base foundation for Minesto’s “Deep Green OceanKite” tidal energy device at Strangford Lough, County Down. This innovative new format of low velocity tidal energy technology is currently being developed by Minesto Ltd, and the Strangford Lough site was selected as a test location for installation of the revolutionary device.

To facilitate the device installation, operation and testing, our works involved the fabrication and installation of a reinforced concrete and steel frame foundation on the seabed.

This project was successfully delivered in three weeks from appointment to completion which was an unprecedented short timescale for this type of complex installation. Within this tight timeframe, our works included the following elements:

• Redesign of foundation.
• Reselection of materials to use heavy weight MagnaDense concrete, reducing the weight of the structure so we could use smaller vessels, smaller cranes and utilise local marine infrastructure.
• Design and match casting of precast concrete gravity base to allow road transport.
• Design of new seabed levelling system.
• Fabrication of support frame.
• Selection of suitable deployment vessel and vessel enabling works.
• Fabrication of bespoke deployment and retrieval frame.

To enable the above works, McLaughlin & Harvey utilised our expertise to select a suitable seabed site for the unit, before facilitating specialist divers for seabed preparation and clearance. The installation was meticulously planned with respect to the tidal conditions and the gravity base was deployed on the first attempt and within 1m positional tolerance in 25m of water!

This fast track project is an excellent example of our ability to develop specialist designs and bespoke installation methodologies to meet the challenges faced when working on a tidal stream site, encouraging a sustainable and commercially viable future for the renewable energy sector.

For more information on our renewable energy services, please contact adam.holland@mclh.co.uk.