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PRESS RELEASE: £3.4m funding for world’s most powerful tidal turbine.

Scottish Government funding of £3.4 million has been awarded to help build the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine.

Scottish engineering company Orbital Marine Power (Orbital) has been awarded the money as the first recipient of the Scottish Government’s £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

The funding will be used to deliver the next generation O2 2MW Floating Tidal Energy Turbine, capable of powering more than 1,700 homes per year.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“We have established a world lead in marine renewable technologies and this project represents a significant step forward in technological development. We are delighted this landmark turbine, designed by an innovative Scottish company, will also be built in Scotland.

“We believe tidal energy technology can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential and this fund will help move tidal technologies closer to commercial deployment.

“However, the large scale roll out of both tidal and wave energy technologies has been harmed by the UK Government’s decision in 2016 to abandon its commitment to provide ring-fenced funding support.

“UK ministers must act quickly to provide the revenue support this exciting and innovative sector requires to achieve its economic potential.”

Orbital’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Scott said:

“We greatly appreciate the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment and support for tidal stream energy, and this award will enable us to deliver a truly exciting and transformational project and continue the proud tradition of Scottish innovation and engineering.

“The O2 project will demonstrate how this emerging industrial sector has the ability to deliver new jobs and open up diversification opportunities for the UK’s supply chain in a growing global market whilst pioneering solutions for a zero carbon future.”

Background

The £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund, which supports the development of tidal energy in Scotland by driving innovation and cost reduction, was announced in February this year and is open until 6 December 2019.

The 72 metre long O2, capable of generating more than 2MW from tidal stream resources, will be built in Scotland and installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. Its turbine rotors can be turned 360° to allow power to be extracted from both tidal directions.

The device will be manufactured by Scottish company Texo Group at their new quayside facilities in Dundee. Key components will delivered by Gray Fabrication in Cupar using material from Liberty Steel in Motherwell.

Scotland has an estimated one third of the UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of the UK’s wave resources. Marine energy resources can provide renewable energy generation as part of the response to the global climate emergency.

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Media contacts at Orbital Marine Power:

James Murray, Business Development Manager: 01856 851641 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul Taylor, Taylor Keogh Communications: 020 8392 8250 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Scottish media enquiries, David Budge: 0141 249 0396 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to editor:

About Orbital Marine Power Ltd.

  • Orbital Marine Power Ltd is an innovative Scottish engineering company focused on the development of a tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a step-change reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents. The company’s novel floating technology offers a low-cost solution for simplified and safe manufacture, installation, access and maintenance along with the ability to use low cost, small workboats for all offshore operations. The company currently employs 30 staff with offices in Orkney and Edinburgh.
  • The Orbital technology has been under continuous engineering development, including rigorous testing of scaled systems in both tank conditions and open ocean environments, since the company was founded in Orkney in 2002. Orbital were the first company in the world to successfully grid connect a floating tidal turbine in 2011 with their 250kW scale system which was operated at EMEC.
  • In 2016 the company launched the SR2000, the world’s most powerful tidal stream turbine. The SR2000 produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12 month continuous test programme. At the time this represented more power from a single turbine than had been generated cumulatively by the wave and tidal sector in Scotland over the 12 years prior to the launch of the SR2000.
  • The Orbital O2 will comprise of a 72m long floating superstructure, supporting two 1 MW turbines at either side for a nameplate power output of 2MW, at a tidal current speed of 2.5 m/s. With rotor diameters of 20m, it will have a 600sq metre rotor area, the largest ever on a single tidal generating platform to date.
  • In October 2018 Orbital opened a £7m crowd funding debenture on the London-based Abundance Investment platform to support the build of the O2 turbine with the target being met inside 10 weeks.
  • The O2 project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the FloTEC project (grant agreement No. 691916) and the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg North West Europe Programme under the ITEG project.
  • This project has also received support under the framework of the OCEANERA-NET COFUND project, with funding provided by national / regional sources and co-funding by the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme.
  • Orbital Marine Power Limited (formerly called Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited) is a privately held company, main shareholders are the McGrath Group headed by Scottish entrepreneur Matt McGrath and Scottish Enterprise via the Energy Investment Fund.