Irish Gov't Grants Funding for Micropiling Tech for Offshore Wind Applications

May 6, 2021

Credit: Subsea Micropiling
Credit: Subsea Micropiling

Irish companies Mincon Group plc and Subsea Micropiles along with research centers at the University of Limerick and University College of Dublin are working on a low-cost, environmentally "sympathetic" micropiling technology aimed at the offshore wind industry.

The Irish government has now awarded a €2.9-million grant in support of a new construction method for marine foundations and anchors paving way for a demonstration project next year. 

According to the developers, this new technology has the potential to benefit the offshore wind industry by "substantially" lowering costs and reducing the environmental impact on the ocean environment. 

The project will include the development of a new robotic seabed drilling system along with the installation and testing of marine anchors using micropile technology, with initial tests taking place by mid-2022.

"Micropiling has grown to become a dominant foundation and anchoring solution for onshore infrastructure since the 1950s, as a proven low-noise and low-impact approach to soil interventions.  Recent advances in underwater robotics now opens the door for low-cost micropiling to be used in the vast market for offshore piling and anchoring," Subsea Micropile said in a statement this week.

Derek Robertson, CEO of Subsea Micropiles Ltd, said that the grant-funded project provided "a welcome focus for the industry to address the pressing need for more cost effective and environmentally sympathetic solutions to support the growth of offshore wind and other applications."

Joe Purcell, CEO of Mincon Group said: “At Mincon, we already focus on making the world’s most energy-efficient drilling solutions, lowering both fuel usage and the impact on the environment. We are delighted to lead this effort with Subsea Micropiles and two prestigious Irish universities, with an aim to use our extensive engineering expertise to develop an innovative solution that will disrupt the renewable energy industry and benefit the wider offshore sector."

The prototype demonstration represents a key development milestone towards a full solution and service capability ready for commercial projects by 2023, the companies said.

 



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