Aquatera and Associates Providing a Turnkey Service for Marine Renewables

May 11th 2010

Why did man reach the moon before harnessing energy out at sea? One answer is that he did the simple things first!

This premise underpins a belief, borne out of experiences to date, that undertaking work in areas suitable for wave and tidal energy development is particularly challenging. To help that process, Stromness-based Aquatera has combined with a group of local associate businesses and maritime specialists.

By sharing their expertise, this group combines a detailed understanding of wave and tidal developers’ needs with the seamanship and engineering required to successfully complete operations in Orkney waters and beyond.

“It’s all about providing a turnkey service,” said Aquatera managing director Gareth Davies.

“Our philosophy over the past 10 years has been to take a multi-dimensional approach to projects. So, alongside considering the impacts developments may have on the environment, we’ve also looked at how the environment can affect a range of operations and activities.

“This 360-degree focus is standing us in good stead in providing operational support and advice to marine energy developers building wave and tidal projects in local waters and elsewhere around the world.”

Aquatera and its partners have previously supported Dublin-based OpenHydro, which has deployed a succession of turbines at EMEC’s tidal test site off the island of Eday.

Some of the individual businesses have also supported Pelamis, TGL and Aquamarine during their deployment activities.

This group is now supporting German engineering firm Voith Hydro, which is starting to deploy its tidal turbine at the Falls of Warness this summer.

“We have built considerable expertise in the marine energy sector, in Orkney, elsewhere in Scotland and internationally,” said Dr Davies.

“We work closely with mariners and maritime specialists with decades of experience of Orkney waters, as well as locally-based companies offering everything from diving and construction to safety engineering and surveying.

“Alongside our core environmental services it means we can provide developers with a bespoke service for the installation, operation and maintenance of wave and tidal devices, underpinned by years of maritime know-how.”

He added: “In Orkney, marine energy projects are being developed in some of the harshest sea conditions to be found anywhere in the world.

“Local expertise is ensuring that the projects are safe, successful and effective – and the level and range of support we can provide is growing as the industry itself develops.” An example of the breadth of this support is a new service from Aquatera - operational conditions data on the company’s website.

Up to the minute information on wind, wave and tidal conditions, shipping activity, wildlife sightings and latest local news, is available for Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles and Oregon (so far)