Aquamarine Power prepares for second Oyster installation

June 20, 2011

Wave energy company Aquamarine Power  took the first step towards  installation of its second full-scale Oyster wave energy converter  last week  [15 June] with the arrival of the „Excalibur‟ jack-up barge in Orkney.


The vessel is now stationed at the European Marine Energy Centre‟s (EMEC) Billia Croo site, where  the Oyster will be installed  later this summer. The jack-up barge will  now begin drilling piles into the seabed  to provide the foundation for  the second generation device.


The Oyster device is due to arrive in Orkney  late  July.  The device has been manufactured by Burntisland Fabrications  at its  Methil and Arnish yards.   The fully-fabricated Oyster will be transported from Methil to EMEC by barge in July.


The next phase of installation will see Oyster being fixed to the seabed piles around 500 metres from shore.  This will be followed by a commissioning process which will see the device connected to an onshore hydro-electric generator via subsea pipelines.


Work has been ongoing onshore at Billia Croo since October last year when preparation for the  directional drilling of the subsea pipelines began.   These  pipelines were successfully completed in May.


Martin McAdam, Chief Executive Officer of Aquamarine Power commented:   “The installation of  our second full-scale  Oyster  will be  another major milestone for Aquamarine Power.  Our  team will be working very hard over the next few months to complete the project for sea trials to begin in the autumn.


“We have been made to feel very welcome in Orkney since we installed our first Oyster at Billia Croo in 2009.  We have worked with more than 30 local firms and spent directly over £2 million in the local economy since we began working in Orkney.


“We believe wave energy offers a very positive future to Orkney and we look forward to continuing to build on those relationships with our second Oyster project.”


Aquamarine Power installed its first grid-connected Oyster wave energy device at EMEC in Orkney in 2009.   The first Oyster  operated through two winters and delivered over 6000 offshore operating hours.


In March 2011, Aquamarine Power removed the first Oyster‟s buoyant flap and towed it from its berth to a sheltered seabed site at Lyness, around ten miles south-east of Billia Croo.   This operation was successfully completed by Orkney Towage and Leask Marine.

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