Aquatera has completed the first phase of tidal array cabling project that involved the installation and retrieval of Jee’s ‘U-tube’ cabling protection structure.
The Aquatera’s role involved lifting, moving, positioning and recovering the 50 m long Jee’s cable protection system. The cabling solution tests were carried out at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Shapinsay Sound tidal test site.
A specialised heavy-lift barge belonging to Stromness firm Green Marine was used to install the structure, along with other vessels provided by the local companies.
Daniel Wise, Aquatera’s Operation Manager, said: “The installation, operation and recovery of the Jee cable protection structure was a unique, interesting and challenging marine operation, one which required meticulous planning and execution, but the barge and other vessels proved to be the ideal solution, with the operation running very smoothly.”
Jee’s protection system, the ‘U-tube’, features a pipe fixed to a J-tube which is secured to the turbine foundations at each end of the pipe.
The cable is then pulled vertically into one of the J-tubes and through the pipe using a pre-installed messenger and winch line.
Once the cable is pulled in, connections are made to the turbine nacelles using wet-mate connections.
Joe Gransden, Jee’s Project Lead, said: “Our system addresses the design challenge of locating, securing and protecting subsea inter-array cables within a tidal environment. This system allows for simple installation and retrieval for maintenance, whilst fully locating, securing and protecting the cable.”
Funded by Scottish Enterprise, the £2.4 million Tidal Array Cabling Solution project was launched in December 2013 to develop and demonstrate effective methods of locating, securing, protecting and retrieving cables for tidal energy arrays.
Jee is a UK-based subsea engineering and training firm with experience in integrated subsea projects from concept, through to installation, and decommissioning.
Aquatera is a provider of environmental services and products, undertaking activities such as integrated lifecycle support for renewable energy and other environmental projects, environmental assessment, surveying and management, and technical and operational support.
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s economic development agency that aims to identify and exploit the best opportunities for the Scottish economic growth.