Scottish engineering company, Orbital Marine Power (Orbital), has been awarded US $4.2m by the Scottish Government to assist in the delivery of the next generation O2 floating tidal energy turbine which is expected to be the ‘world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine’.
This fund is the first of the Scottish Government’s US $12.3m Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund that is meant to support the development of tidal energy in Scotland.
The O2 floating tidal energy turbine
The O2 floating tidal energy turbine will be assembled by Texo Group, a Scottish company, at their new quayside facilities in Dundee. Gray Fabrication shall be manufacturing the turbines key components in Cupar using material from Liberty Steel in Motherwell.
Upon completion the 72-metre long O2 turbine, whose rotors will be able to turn 180° in order to allow power to be extracted from both tidal directions, shall be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. It will be capable of generating more than 2MW from tidal stream resources, enough to power not less than 1,700 homes a year.
A world lead in marine renewable technologies
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse commented on this uptake saying, that they have established a world lead in marine renewable technologies and this project represents a significant step forward in technological development. “We are also delighted that this landmark turbine will be built in Scotland,” he added.
Furthermore the minister mentioned that the government believes that the project will reveal how this emerging industrial sector has the ability to deliver new jobs and open up diversification opportunities for the United Kingdom’s supply chain in the growing global market while at the same time, pioneering solutions for a zero carbon future for the country’s energy mix.
Scotland has an estimated one third of the UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of wave resources.