Subhub positions on shore ahead of early new year clean start

Subhub set down at the D1 Area of Belfast Harbour in readiness for launch in the New Year (Photo: QED Naval)

Scottish engineering consultancy QED Naval has moved its newly-built Subhub tidal power platform to Belfast Harbour, ahead of installation in the Strangford Lough set for the early next year.

Significant technical and commercial issues have been overcome to achieve the milestone, said QED Naval, explaining the ‘significant delays’ in the project.

QED Naval developed the Subhub tidal platform to address the issue of high energy costs caused by the use of high value marine platforms such as DP2 vessels and jack-ups to install and recover the tidal turbines, according to the company.

The Subhub platform is said to be a fully integrated platform which encapsulates everything required to operate seabed mounted tidal turbines invisibly, offering the industry reliable deployment over a wide range of weather conditions, QED Naval claims.

The consultancy will early in 2019 launch the community-scale Subhub demonstrator as a first step in validating the claims, which also include those of high yield and ease of installation and recovery of the platform. According to QED Naval, offers the opportunity for site capacity or yield increase of over 40%.

In a recent feasibility assessment, QED Naval used actual site measurements at six different locations, to demonstrate commercial viability of deploying its project, the company informed.

The implementation of Subhub was demonstrated to have potential to transform the commercial viability of any project, said QED Naval, adding in a statement that “deploying a utility scale Subhub solution would enable the client to compete with offshore wind in the next contracts for difference (CfD) round in terms of levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), capacity and timescales for the project.”

The company’s first Subhub will soon be deployed at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) tidal energy site in Northern Ireland, leased from the Crown Estate.

According to QED Naval, the Subhub is suitable for any type of turbine, and can be modified to capture the benefits of both horizontal axis, and vertical axis turbines, while the platform’s ballasting methods can work equally well with wave turbines as well.

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