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.


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 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


Alastair Rayner
29 Sep 2016

As we look for more options to generate more power from the wind, innovative options like floating wind farms are fast moving from concept to reality. There are a number of benefits of floating wind. Because they are not limited by water depth or ground conditions – which have a significant impact on fixed offshore wind farms – floating wind can be deployed further offshore, meaning increased wind exploitation from a larger wind resource base. The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimated in 2013 that 80% of the offshore wind resource in Europe was in water over 60m deep – that’s the potential to deploy around 4000GW of floating wind. To put that into perspective, according to Renewable UK, there are currently about 5GW of offshore wind (fixed to the ground) installed which powers several million homes each year. The NREL estimated a figure of 2450GW in the water around the USA and around 500GW for Japan. One of the major factors in developing floating wind farms is the design of the foundations. The early stages of developing this technology mean that the level of innovation currently underway is very exciting. There are over 30 floating wind concepts under development and this range of ideas has led to the creation of several different foundation options – from spars to semi submersibles, multi-turbine platforms to hybrid wind/wave devices. In fact, Atkins has been involved in developing an improved assembly and installation sequence option for Statoil’s Hywind project (which uses a spar as

UK & Europe , North America , Asia Pacific ,

Karen Blanc
19 May 2016

Two weeks ago, I packed my baby's bag (we're still at the breastfeeding stage), and took him along with me to the judging sessions for WICE Mentor of the Year in London. I wasn't going to, but realised that if one of my mentees suggested that as a basis for not going, I'd tell them to think again. And for me, that's why I mentor: because it makes me a better person. Not in a "better than you" kind of way; in a way that being a parent turns you into the kind of person you want your kids to be. It encourages me to give my best in life, to go for the things I want to do, even if they're a stretch. (And how would I have ever known that my baby sleeps better on the train?) “Why do you mentor?” was the question posed to us during introductions at the Women in Construction and Engineering awards interview day in London last month. It’s a good question. Why do we mentor? Not to be the best at it, that’s for sure (though the recognition is of course very nice). Mentoring is all about other people, but of course there’s something in it for the mentors too. As a mentor I talk candidly about my own experiences, because my experience, my perspective, might help others. I’m often surprised when a mentee tells me something made sense to them because of what we’d spoken about. Of course I should know how

UK & Europe , Middle East , North America , Asia Pacific , Rest of World ,

Ewan Murray
05 May 2016

In January, I wrote about how compressed air energy storage (CAES) might be a solution to keeping the lights on. Since then, we’ve been exploring in a lot more detail how salt caverns can be converted into suitable compressed air storage; a technique which is increasingly being accepted as a significant contributor to solving the supply/ demand challenges faced by the UK and international energy power systems. We’ve also discussed previously why it’s important that quick response energy storage is available (in short, more variable generation from renewables means there has to be quick response storage available for any peaks in demand). To date, only CAES and pumped-hydro have been proven capable of producing grid-scale, bulk energy storage with good response times. Conversion of existing natural gas storage assets to compressed air is potentially an effective means of deploying CAES as the cost and time to develop a suitable cavern is significantly improved, and can also present an opportunity to add significant value to an existing asset whose revenue potential has been adversely affected by market conditions. Conversion of existing caverns presents a unique challenge but one which Atkins is well placed to support. There are a number of aspects to consider, including: The storage and generation capacity         The performance criteria to consider are the compression/generating capacity (MW) and storage capacity (MWh), which will determine how long the plant can generate at the rated capacity. Downhole and surface equipment will need to be selected to suit the cavern to ensure that

UK & Europe , North America , Middle East , Asia Pacific ,

Katherine Knight
29 Apr 2016

Carbon capture, storage and utilisation (CCUS) is something of a “buzz” technology at the moment. The recent cancellation of the CCS competition in the UK has made the headlines, the technology is making some progress in Canada and the USA, and is making leaps in the Middle East. Leaving aside others parts of the debate around this – particularly costs around limiting emissions harmful to the atmosphere and whether CCS is the panacea for decarbonising the energy system – I want to look at what’s positive about CCUS, and where it could be going. CCS is still an emerging technology and there are certainly lessons to be learned from other projects about what works and what doesn’t. Commercialising carbon capture technology is hugely important in order to get it up and running in more places around the world. Many of the CCS projects in operation or construction have low capture costs (they’re attached to natural gas processing facilities for example), are located close the area of storage so long distance transport of the CO₂ is not needed, and they can take advantage of revenue streams from the CO₂ (typically revenue from enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations). A challenge for future projects is that one or all of these advantages may not be available, so those projects are likely to need greater financial incentives to be built. At the moment, government support is needed for CCS projects to get underway. This is happening in many places, and financial incentives are starting to play a greater

UK & Europe , Middle East , North America , Asia Pacific , Rest of World ,

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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

UK & Europe ,

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

UK & Europe ,

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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Atkins provided multidisciplinary services for the twin 240m high office towers and shopping mall of the Bahrain World Trade Center. Atkins achieved a world first by aesthetically incorporating commercial wind turbines into the fabric of the building. The three 29m diameter wind turbines and the shape of the paired towers have a direct and tangible relationship via wind dynamics. The Carbon Critical Design of the Bahrain World Trade Center meant it was fully tenanted by major regional businesses from day one. Atkins also received a number of accolades for the design including a Best Tall Building award from The Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a Construction Week award and an Innovation award from The Building Exchange.

Bahrain ,

Atkins has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Scottish and Southern Energy PLC (SSE) to join a framework of key suppliers to help to drive efficiencies in its offshore wind programme.Atkins’ role includes the provision of expert engineering design advice as part of an alliance of leading companies who are supporting SSE in its drive to boost its renewable energy provision. The supplier framework will form an offshore wind alliance designed to help secure substantial reductions in the cost of delivered power from offshore wind farms. The alliance brings together leading players in offshore wind and offshore oil & gas, with vast experience in energy, engineering and construction.

UK ,

Atkins is acting as the lead consultant for a 1,600 ha mixed use development site in Johannesburg.  A wide range of services are being delivered by Atkins including: lead designer for the Framework Masterplan submitted to the City of Johannesburg, environmental assessments, socioeconomics, planning, cost consulting and public engagement; along with advisory on innovative transport and infrastructure solutions. The site is located on the alignment of the only high speed rail service in Africa, which connects the international airport to the city centre and central business district. A new high speed rail station is planned on the existing alignment and is located in the town centre of this development. The new station already has planning approval and the anticipated delivery date is in 2018.  This development will likely offer: Over 50,000 new homes 300,000 permanent jobs 13.5 billion rand a year for the national economy All elements needed for day-to-day life are incorporated into this truly mixed use scheme. Additionally, strategic scale flood control, renewable power generation and improved community infrastructure are all integrated using efficient that are only viable when working at this scale.  Stakeholder engagement is a significant part of the Atkins role. Monthly workshop sessions, led by Atkins, allow the City of Johannesburg and associated council members to participate in the design process. Public engagement, where over 600 people have attended sessions held so far, is used to answer questions and build support for this exciting project.  To read more about the high

South Africa ,

Atkins’ carried out the detailed design of the topsides for the Galloper Wind Farm Offshore Transformer Platform with the complete topsides expected to be in the order of 1,600 tonnes. Atkins’ design of the offshore transformer platform (OSP) incorporates all of the temporary construction, transportation, installation and commissioning conditions, including the complex sequential pull-through of multiple submarine cables for connection to the OSP equipment.

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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


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