Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) recently collected the Engineering Excellence Award for outstanding design at the Green Energy Awards hosted by Scottish Renewables in Edinburgh. ESS has designed and patented a number of tools used in seabed clearance, route preparation, trenching, and cable laying operations in the renewables.
The company’s SCAR Seabed System impressed judges, who noted they system’s ability to limit disruption to marine and subsea environments. SCAR’s durability means it can be launched from a vessel at any time of the year, avoiding sensitive spawning and breeding seasons for marine wildlife.
So far, the system has been deployed on a number of UK and European renewables projects, including Westermost Rough, Race Bank, and Wikinger offshore wind farms, and on cable trenching operations on a major interconnector program in the Moray Firth. In addition, the system is attracting global interest from further afield in China, Japan, and the U.S.
Additional SCAR benefits include a higher operational speed that reduces the duration of potential disruption to wildlife from the presence of vessels, limits the creation of berms which are a snag risk to fishermen, and which can be used across a range of seabed types and soil strengths.
This lets operators modify cable or pipeline routes to avoid sensitive habitats or areas of archaeological interest.
“Our company motto is ‘because we think differently’ and this has enabled ESS to successfully bring technologies to the market through engineering excellence with a clear and sustained focus on the environment,” said ESS Technical Director, Michale Cowie.
In 2017, ESS will use all of SCAR’s specialist capabilities when the company undertakes route clearance, pre-cut trenching and backfilling operations for a large-scale Interconnector Link, north of Scotland.
“Scotland is already a world leader in renewable energy with more than 55% of gross electricity consumption coming from renewable sources,” added Cowie. “It is essential that we continue this progress and I would like to congratulate the Green Energy Award winners for the ingenuity and determination they have shown in developing new products and approaches.”
ESS continues to invest in engineering Research and Development, including the £3 million design and build of a new SCARJet tool which has the potential to double subsea trench production rates and will introduce additional environmental and performance benefits for clients.