Renewables & Future Energies

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We provide innovative solutions to speed up the widespread deployment of cost effective renewable energy technologies as diverse as offshore wind, hydroelectricity, biomass and waste to energy, solar, tidal, and decentralised energy.




Atkins will work closely with some of the UK’s leading cavern storage operators in identifying and examining the representative salt caverns in Cheshire, Teesside and East Yorkshire that could store hydrogen to be used in power generation. The critical data and technical expertise provided by the operators will assist in the development of hydrogen storage models for each region. The six-month project will provide more detail on the suitability of individual caverns and the costs associated with using them, increasing the evidence base needed if they are to be developed further. It follows on from a report published by the ETI in 2015 which focused on hydrogen generation from fossil fuels, biomass or waste gasification, or steam reforming of methane, all with carbon capture and storage. The use of a store and responsive gas turbine greatly improves the flexibility of power output to the grid, whilst allowing the hydrogen generator and CCS plant, to operate at peak efficiency. The report showed how a single H2 cavern could cater for the peak energy demands and fluctuations of a whole city. There are over 30 large salt caverns in use in the UK today storing natural gas for the power and heating market. Many of these could potentially be re-used for hydrogen storage or new caverns constructed in the extensive salt fields which are deep underground in many parts of the UK. The ETI’s Insight on the potential role of hydrogen storage can be found at

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Atkins has worked with Swedish company Hexicon since 2015 to design the world’s first multi-turbine offshore wind floating platform. It is planned that the platform will be deployed at the Dounreay Tri Project off the Scottish north coast. As engineering partner, Atkins’ offshore wind team is responsible for analysing a two turbine structure ready for detailed design and physical model testing of the new design in mid-2016. Atkins is pushing the boundaries of design to support Hexicon in maximising energy yield. Experience in innovative, transformational work both in the renewables and oil and gas sectors has enabled the project team to go one step further in making the exciting concept a reality. New developments in the design of the floating structure's mooring system have increased the efficiency of the rotating system reducing CAPEX and maximising energy yield. Atkins’ extensive experience in floating wind has played a key role in developing the concept and originally winning the work. The integrated design capability that enables the head to toe design that we are undertaking for Hexicon demonstrates how our experience across a range of both floating and fixed offshore wind projects can add real value to clients. Atkins has been involved in more than half a dozen floating wind projects around the world including: Detailed design and analysis for Principle Power’s WindFloat prototype in Portugal Design for Pilot Offshore Renewable’s Kincardine floating wind project Winning Statoil’s Hywind floating wind demonstrator Installation Challenge

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The Innovation Challenge campaign looked to others within the energy sector to make the Hywind concept available in more markets around the world. The Hywind demonstrator was launched in 2009 as the world’s first full scale floating offshore wind demonstration unit, and a 30MW pilot park is planned for installation off the coast of Scotland in 2017, using five 6MW turbines. With plans for even bigger arrays of turbines in the future, Statoil launched the Installation Challenge to look at options to improve the Hywind turbines assembly and installation sequence to make the concept more cost efficient and available in more markets around the world. Atkins’ oil and gas teams in North America and the UK collaborated with the UK-based renewables team to develop a solution to this problem; using multiple turbines attached to a reusable transportation frame. This reduced the draught of the structures, resulting in the following benefits: The turbines can be towed at reduced draughts. This allows them to be assembled in regions where a deep water inshore location is not readily available, or where a deep water inshore location exists but the tow-out route is draught-restricted. The draught of the turbines can be reduced, enabling assembly against a conventional quayside. This removes the requirement for offshore lifts, which offers potential for cost, schedule and safety gains. Multiple turbines can be towed simultaneously, increasing transport efficiency by reducing the number of towing vessels required over a large farm development.

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We have been working with Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited (KOWL) since 2013 as an active member of the development team. We are developing one of the world’s first arrays of floating wind turbines by 2020 which will establish a leading position for Scotland in the development and deployment of this novel technology. This will be a pilot-scale demonstrator offshore wind farm utilising a semi-spar floating foundation technology, which will demonstrate the technological and commercial feasibility of floating offshore wind. Floating foundations open the possibility for future offshore wind farms to be located further from shore in deeper waters, minimising visual impacts whilst accessing hitherto untapped wind resources. The wind farm will have the capacity to provide 218GWhr of electricity which is the equivalent to powering over 55,000 homes in Scotland, and will see a reduction of over 94,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to fossil fuelled power sources. We have taken the Project from initial concept design to pre-consent determination. The journey has been significant and challenging, and was made possible by our in-house expertise in marine environmental assessment and consenting. The marine and coastal team provided a ‘one stop shop’ for the licensing and assessment of the Project including: Environmental Scoping Assessment Environmental Baseline Studies and Reports Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Statement Habitat Regulations Assessment  Bird Collision Risk Modelling Marine Licence and Section 36 Applications

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We are helping to enable a production line approach to fabrication, rather than a bespoke solution each time, driving down the whole life costs to DONG Energy whilst maintaining the highest safety Atkins has contracts for detailed engineering design of offshore substation platforms (OSPs) at DONG Energy construction projects around the UK; one substation at the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay two substations at the Race Bank offshore wind farm off the north coast of Norfolk and two substations at the Walney Extension offshore wind farm off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness in the Irish Sea. In 2015, we were awarded a contract for engineering design services for three offshore substations with helidecks and refuelling systems for DONG Energy’s proposed Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm, taking the total number of OSPs that Atkins is designing to eight. With over 30 years looking after oil and gas offshore structures, we can directly apply lessons learned in terms of construction and operation in deeper waters, foundation and jacket technology, the use of heavy-lift vessels and asset maintenance offshore. Our UK based team will be working together with DONG Energy to apply the lessons on these large, complex projects enabling us to set new benchmarks in stripping out any fat for an industry that needs to become more and more competitive with other energy sources. DONG Energy is progressing to a standardised wind farm, reducing the costs of offshore wind energy by 35

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Atkins produced the detailed design for E.ON’s Humber Gateway offshore wind farm’s offshore substation support structure. Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Limited delivered E.ON with a full design and build package with Atkins subcontracted for the module support structure design. This project was awarded to Atkins because of our geotechnical expertise and capability to develop feasible foundation designs for the chalk ground conditions. The offshore substation platform substructure consists of two components; a piled jacket and a module support frame (MSF) that was lifted onto the jacket substructure on site. All work was performed with due consideration to the difficult ground conditions and a key project requirement to enable installation using the project’s jack-up vessel – the MPI Adventure – which imposed restrictive load curve limits on geometry and weight. This enabled the developer to make optimal use of long term charter arrangements and mitigate installation risks. The MSF provides support and allows access to two topside modules. The modules are connected to the foundation through eight support points, four per module. The modules connect to the wind farm by eight array cables each and are connected to land by one export cable each. Atkins conducted: • Full in-place, load-out, transportation analyses • Lift structural analyses for both structures • Fatigue, ship impact and on bottom stability analysis for the jacket substructure • Detailed design drawings based on calculations for fabrication at Harland and Wolff’s shipyards in Belfast. The work took place during 2013, and was completed in 2014. Humber Gateway is located in the northern part of the Greater

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At Atkins, we’re able to combine decades of deep engineering experience with the tools and techniques of innovation. The work of the Digital Incubator—and our innovation partners Fluxx—helps us to understanding the hype cycle, enabling us to help clients make the most of new technology.  We’re then able to use our global network to empower Clients to work faster and smarter than ever before. For example, we worked to help clients use unmanned aerial vehicles, 3D scanning, data analysis and virtual reality to dramatically improve asset management in large and complex sites.  This video shows geomatics consultants Charlton Bland and Kevin Ballard scanning and analysing complex visual and radar scan data. Multiple data sets can be combined to provide intelligence for decision support; predicting collapses before they happen.   The film shows how this rich 3D mapping can be used in a virtual reality environment for purposes as diverse as staff training or public consultation.   To learn more about digital engineering or book a visit to the Atkins Digital Incubator, contact Gary Wilson:

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We’re providing specialist design and engineering support to help Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc create the world's first power-generating tidal lagoon in Wales, UK. The project will see low carbon electricity generated by closing off a tidal sea area and incorporating hydro turbines through which the sea moves to generate power. With a 320MW installed capacity and 14 hours of reliable generation every day, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will capture enough renewable energy to power over 155,000 homes for 120 years.  It is also hoped that a blueprint will be established for the rapid roll-out of a new form of home-grown and built, low carbon energy infrastructure in the UK. As the client’s chief engineer, Atkins is producing outline designs for the breakwater, turbine house and ancillary works and supporting the tender process by helping develop documents and reviewing responses and detailed designs. Once a design and build contractor is appointed and construction work starts, scheduled for Spring 2015, we will also provide a range of site supervision, auditing and technical checking services. Further information:

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Listening and leading across boundaries, bringing lessons learned from established forms of energy to emerging technologies, we are helping the drive towards a low carbon future.

We provide robust engineering design and owners' engineer services in the renewable energy sector, as well as technical advice on emerging clean energy technologies.

Our cross-discipline experts and specialists enable us to provide the complete range of services in all aspects of renewable energy technology. We have some of the most technically skilled individuals in the engineering sector in areas such as fatigue assessment, finite element analysis, dynamic analysis, computational fluid dynamics and hydrodynamics.

Our in-depth knowledge of offshore engineering and hydrocarbons, as well as power generation and distribution, not only equips us well but drives a sense of responsibility to play a key role in developing the technical and commercial viability of new technologies.

Merging experience and innovation

Our expertise in the offshore environment dates back as far as the 1970s. Delivering engineering projects in the challenging marine environments of the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico has provided us with a wealth of knowledge that we can transfer into costs effective solutions for marine renewables.

By combining our original thinking with these 40 years of offshore engineering in oil and gas, we are transforming the ability of offshore wind to compete with established forms of power generation.

Maximising energy yield through clever design

Lessons learned in foundation technology, as well as installing and maintaining at sea, guide us in developing approaches to fixed foundation design which reduce cost. Our work with industry partners on more than half a dozen offshore floating wind projects is enabling harvesting of the best offshore energy resources further offshore in deeper waters.

Future energies

Our work with our clients and partners enables us to spearhead the move towards a low carbon economy by making clean energy sources safe, reliable and cost effective.

We've worked with the UK government, for example, to help the former Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) understand and evolve the potential of emerging technologies such as energy storage, deep geothermal and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).



Atkins provides a comprehensive range of services in all aspects of offshore renewable energy technology, from initial feasibility studies and technology assessments through to detailed engineering, integrity management, safety and reliability assessment and client advisory services.

Concept and front-end engineering design (FEED)

Early stage concept engineering and FEED is an essential part of offshore wind development. We bring together a multidisciplinary team to build geological ground models, assess foundation concepts, assess transmission technology choices and grid connection points, propose and evaluate array layouts and consider installation methodologies. We can optimise design through a FEED study, to support consenting, cost evaluation and financial close and major contract awards.

Multidisciplinary design engineering

Working for developers, fabricators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Atkins undertakes complex, multidisciplinary detailed design packages. We can mobilise teams at short notice to design installations such as onshore and offshore substations, and ports and harbours facilities. We are engaged at all stages of the project lifecycle of offshore projects which gives us an unrivalled perspective on how to design fit for purpose offshore structures for the renewable sector.

Managing the asset life

Atkins supports a number of existing wind farms both as Owner's Engineer and as designer of the discrete remediation projects for specific emergent issues. Our portfolio is currently in excess of 400 WTG substructure and three offshore substations across a number of wind farms and client organisations. This allows an integrated response and implementation of common solutions embedding efficiency and lessons learned across a number of projects. Atkins has a wealth of experience in structural integrity, fatigue life assessment and corrosion protection experience drawn from our extensive work in the offshore oil and gas, offshore renewables and nuclear arenas. This is reflected in the breadth and depth of the services we are currently delivering for our clients.

Specialist engineering analysis

We provide specialist engineering services in areas such as fatigue assessment, finite element analysis, dynamic analysis, computational fluid dynamics and hydrodynamics. Atkins utilises this expertise to undertake complex engineering analysis in areas such as failure and defect investigation. Additionally, as the offshore renewable sector matures, we can analyse operational performance of existing products and optimise emerging technologies.

We offer the following specialist skills:

  • Wind farm concept and detailed design
  • Wind turbine blade engineering
  • Wind turbine electrical and mechanical engineering
  • Wind turbine and Met Mast foundation/substructure design (onshore and offshore)
  • Wind farm electrical design, including offshore array and export transmission design
  • Onshore substation design
  • Offshore substation design (substructure and topsides)
  • Safety assessment and compliance requirements
  • Consents, planning and environmental impact assessment
  • Geophysical and geotechnical survey specification and data interpretation
  • Electrical array and export design
  • Cable selection and installation assessment
  • Grid connection studies and assessments
  • Electro-mechanical and mechanical design and analysis of marine energy devices
  • Health and safety planning and assessment and CDM


Paul Yates
29 Jun 2017

Hydrogen can transform domestic heating and vehicle transport, large scale energy generation and energy intensive industry. It is flexible and clean at the point of end use, helping to address local air quality issues, and can be stored under pressure at high volumes, providing resilience. It is already in use in fuel cells powering vehicles such as buses and fork lift trucks. The Energy Research Partnership (ERP) considers that it has the potential to power up to 10% of road vehicles and to replace natural gas in the grid transmission system, in the same way that towns gas was replaced with natural gas in the 1970s. Of course, the use of hydrogen doesn’t come without its challenges. Manufacture through electrolysis is only low carbon if the electricity used is low carbon and in reality, the quantity of electricity required will be prohibitive. Using hydrogen from steam methane reformation (SMR) would require about a third more natural gas to produce it than using the natural gas itself directly. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) would also be required to avoid a negative impact in terms of climate change. So, for the hydrogen economy to be a viable route for decarbonisation, we need SMR, CCS and use of the existing gas network, replacing natural gas with hydrogen. Current thinking is that we need 100% hydrogen replacement of natural gas, as blending at lower proportions simply does not work out as carbon beneficial due to the CO2 generated in manufacture. However, this

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Aubrey Keller
14 Mar 2017

Atkins’ acquisition of Howard Humphreys, a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy based in Kenya and Tanzania, has the potential to open up access to any number of infrastructure projects across East Africa. We hope energy projects will play a key role, and to help facilitate that I recently moved from the UK to live in Nairobi. Howard Humphreys has an excellent reputation across the broader East Africa region. In all my dealings with those in the engineering industry locally, individuals always speak very highly of Howard Humphreys and their previous infrastructure projects. Now, combining Howard Humphreys traditional expertise with the skills and abilities Atkins’ global Energy business has in nuclear, conventional power, renewables, and oil and gas, we hope to grow our engineering and design capabilities in the energy market in East Africa and beyond. We think there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. Kenya’s installed generation capacity is roughly 2.5 GW (40% hydro, 30% other renewables, 30% conventional) however the electrification rate is only 25% - 40%, depending on which statistics you look at. The per capita demand for electricity is below average, which can be attributed to the low electrification rate and few, large industrial consumers, among other reasons. Significant investment and efforts have already been committed to upgrade and expand transmission and distribution infrastructure, with more planned. Aside from increasing electrification rates, these activities also seek to increase overall grid reliability and robustness to support increased integration of intermittent renewable generation. Increasing electrification rates in rural areas

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Jessica Green
03 Feb 2017

I have always been of the view that the huge push for gender diversity we see so frequently in engineering firms is condescending and undermining to women. I don’t need a support network when I see myself as equal. I don’t need motivational sessions from ‘empowered women’ when I see no difference between the ‘empowered women’ and the more competent of my male colleagues around me. Strong and weak people come in both genders, and by categorising ourselves as empowered, we succumb to the stale stereotype that women are weaker than men, and we degrade ourselves whilst complaining that it is the men that are degrading us. In my relatively short experience as an engineer, I have received nothing but respect from my male counterparts; the only sexism I have encountered was from another female engineer who, for some reason, did not like having another woman in the office. I felt patronised when colleagues asked how I thought they could attract more women to the firm. There isn’t an abundance of women with engineering degrees, where did they think they were going to attract them from?! Engineering was simply more for the male‐minded amongst us. Recently however, whilst working on an international project with a global workforce, I specifically noticed one very alien concept: the Spanish engineers were an equal male‐female balance. In fact, on researching the figures, I discovered that the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in the whole of Europe. Whilst I still disagree with the use of

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Paul Yates
29 Nov 2016

It generally comes from large generating stations of various types and is delivered to us through the National Grid. But the landscape is changing, devolving, localising, which presents the regions, and the North of England in particular, with a golden opportunity to shape it for the future. The population and demographic in the North’s towns and cities will continue to evolve, as will the demand for skills and the modes of transport people will use to get to their place of work. Major infrastructure, including inter-city projects such as HS2 and HS3 (linking the cities of the North), new road links and new nuclear power stations, will drive some of this change and the need for people and skills. Ways of working are also changing as more people use technology to enable their daily lives. And mobility will change and become more intelligent within cities. On top of this we have devolution. With its long history of manufacturing and innovation in industry, the North already has a great foundation from which to build. It has been home to several nuclear power stations for decades, with new facilities in the pipeline, and has seen rapidly–developing, large-scale offshore wind in the North Sea and Irish Sea. Its deep water ports allow the region to service the offshore oil and gas and renewable industries, and are ideally located on the East coast to service future carbon capture and storage. There’s also a potential tidal lagoon off the Cumbrian coast, and the region has the people

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In this section you can find brochures on our capability in the renewables sector.

Title Format Size
US Clean Energy SQQ pdf 1.7MB
Founding Manifesto - Friends of Floating Offshore Wind pdf 685KB
Hydro-electricity pdf 76KB
Wind Energy pdf 1.0MB