Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, has commenced grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. The innovative, floating turbine is anchored in the Fall of Warness where a subsea cable connects the 2MW offshore unit to the local onshore electricity network, so the company in a press release yesterday.
Manufactured and launched in Dundee earlier in the year before being towed up to Orkney, the O2 is Orbital’s first commercial turbine and represents the culmination of more than 15 years of world-leading product development in the UK. The 74m long turbine is expected to operate in the waters off Orkney for the next 15 years with the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of around 2,000 UK homes with clean, predictable power from the fast-flowing waters. In a further ground-breaking element of the project, the O2 is to provide power to EMEC’s onshore electrolyzer to generate green hydrogen that will be used to demonstrate decarbonization of wider energy requirements.
‘Creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector.’
Orbital CEO, Andrew Scott, said: “Delivering this pioneering renewable energy project safely and successfully is a major milestone for the O2. This project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector.”
The construction of the O2 turbine was enabled by public lenders through the ethical investment platform, Abundance Investment, as well as being supported by the Scottish Government by the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund. The O2 project has been supported through funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the FloTEC project and the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg northwest Europe Programme under the ITEG project.
Read the complete press release here.
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