4c Engineering will collaborate with two Basque firms to develop a reliable, low cost subsea connector following the award of a £70,000 contract by Wave Energy Scotland (WES). The Inverness Campus based firm have partnered with Ditrel Industrial (the project lead contractor), and TECNALIA, to create the “SEMC” project (Subsea Electrical & Mooring Connector).

The project aims to reduce installation, operation & maintenance costs for marine renewables projects by combining the mooring and electrical connection operations, removing the need for specialist vessel, and reducing the time required, allowing shorter weather windows to be used.

2019-12-06 WES - QCS

Commenting on the award, Andy Hall, Director of 4c Engineering said:

“A safe, reliable and low-cost connection system is essential for the commercialisation of marine renewables. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Ditrel & TECNALIA to develop this innovative solution, bringing together international expertise to solve an industry-wide challenge”

Ibon Larrea, Head of Technology at Ditrel Industrial SL, echoed this saying:

We are proud that our project has been selected by the Wave Energy Scotland, considering their knowledge and expertise within wave energy. Thanks to the combined efforts between companies and countries like Scotland and Basque Country, this project is today one opportunity to help the wave sector become closer to the market.”

Fernando Salcedo of TECNALIA added:

We have been working with DITREL on connection solutions for offshore energy devices for more than 6 years and we are looking forward to starting a new exciting challenge in collaboration with 4c Engineering”

Shift to low carbon energy

The contract is one of seven awarded by WES, totalling around £460,000 of innovation funding. The contract awards were announced on the 5th of December by Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Paul Wheelhouse MSP as he made the opening address at the Wave Energy Scotland Annual Conference in Edinburgh.

Whilst making the announcement, Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, praised the calibre of the applicants:

“The response to this call from companies outside the wave energy sector – in particular established players in offshore engineering – has been remarkable and strengthens the links between sectors which are hugely important to the future of the Scottish economy, the energy supply chain, and our efforts to tackle the global climate emergency. We have seen a decisive shift in recent years towards investment in low-carbon forms of energy technologies, and this continues with the move to develop marine energy resources.

“This fantastic response from such a range of companies will help bring technology and expertise into the wave sector and will help us meet the ambitions highlighted in the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy. In particular, I am heartened to see that firms from the Highlands and Islands are well represented in the winning bids.”

2019-12-06 WES - QCS - subsea