Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, congratulated McLaughlin & Harvey Offshore on the completion of its research and development project.
This focused on subsea drilled foundation installation methods for the wave and tidal energy sector.
McLaughlin & Harvey Offshore have been working with Invest NI, part-funded under the European Regional Development Fund, to develop an innovative installation technique which will enable the cost effective construction of commercial tidal and wave energy device arrays.
The subsea drilling rig prototype, which has been tested in dry conditions in Downpatrick, and in underwater conditions at Ballylig Quarry, Broughshane, was designed to reduce the time required to install tidal turbines using low cost readily available marine plant.
The project has proven the rig to be reliable and efficient in wet and dry conditions, and that the installed foundation provides the required reaction at the rock / foot interface to support the loads that would be expected from wave and tidal energy convertors connected to the seabed.
McLaughlin & Harvey Offshore are now embarking on Phase 2 of the project, and are exploring various opportunities to test the technique on a commercial development in the tidal stream. This is expected to take place during 2014.
We would like to thank all those employees of McLaughlin & Harvey Offshore who have contributed, Invest NI and our project partners RPS Group and Quinn Piling.