Subhub tidal energy platform was moved from Titanic Properties, Kingsworks car park on the Queen Island to Belfast Harbour’s D1 Area in readiness for deployment to Strangford Lough early in the New Year. The D1 Area is part of Belfast Harbour’s estate and was formally leased by Orsted to deploy the wind turbines to West of Duddon Sands project a joint venture project between Orsted (formally Dong) and ScottishPower Renewables costing £1.6 billion.
QED Naval’ s team have worked professionally and tirelessly to complete this logistical process working with many commercial partners to achieve this major milestone. Significant technical and commercial issues have been overcome to achieve this milestone which has caused significant delays in the project but good things come to those who wait or persist.
That being said we need to thank the key players who helped us achieve the move to D1 milestone, namely:
- Belfast Harbour Commission – Provided access to D1 Area authorising the route to quayside along with bridge assessments and civil engineering works.
- Belfast Harbour Police – Have been long term supporters of the Subhub project completing patrols on a daily basis of the Kingsworks site. They also provide a police escort ahead and behind the route on the day of the move ensuring traffic safety.
- Mar Train Heavy Haulage – who completed the move of the Subhub to the D1 Area. Their professionalism and performance on the night of the move amazed onlookers including ourselves.
- HBS – Completed the plans (RAMS) for all the civil engineering works to be carried out along the route. They quickly and efficiently cleared the route prior to
- AECOM – Completed survey, assessment and report of the bridge on Airport Road West which was on the route to the D1 Area.
- Doyle Shipping Group – Supported the transfer of Subhub to the D1 Area in terms of weighing the Subhub, lifting plans and stevedoring, essential for the set down position on the quayside.
- Titanic Properties – who have support QED Naval of the past 12 months providing a suitable lay down area on the Queens Island for them to complete the commissioning and testing of all the main systems.
The tidal energy sector is showing signs of growth within the UK for the industrial and tech sectors, led by Simec Atlantis, Orbital and Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, who are leading developments on the back of good ROC support. However, since this support mechanism was dropped in April 2017, we find the development of the tidal sector is being lost to other countries including France, Canada and inevitably Asia.
We find that persistence is a key word in our business plan to get the message across to industrialists and corporates who have shown interest in the blue or sustainable economy recognising the longer term benefits of these high growth, ethical investments for everyone’s future.
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. QED Naval have developed a unique method of installing and recovering tidal turbines using their platforms unique submerged stability characteristics. This fully integrated platform which encapsulates everything required to operate seabed mounted tidal turbines, invisibly, and offers the industry reliable deployment over a wide range of weather conditions maintaining >80% operational availability over onsite wind, wave and tidal conditions.
Importantly, Subhub offers the opportunity to increase the site capacity or yield from the site by >40% transforming the commercial viability of any project.
In a recent feasibility assessment, QED Naval demonstrated, using actual site measurements at 6 different locations, how their project would be deployed along with the commercially measures to demonstrate the viability of the project. A clear conclusion of this work was, deploying a utility scale Subhub solution would enable the client to compete with offshore wind in the next CFD round in terms of LCOE, capacity and timescales for the project.
Moving the Subhub to the quayside in readiness for the launch of the Community Subhub Demonstrator is the first step in validating the claims of high yield and ease of installation and recovery.