PRESS RELEASE: Orbital Marine Power teams up with SKF for its power train supply on world’s most powerful tidal turbine.
Orbital announces a strategic contract with SKF for the supply of the fully integrated power trains on its upcoming O2 2MW floating tidal turbine, which will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in 2020.
The landmark contract brings the industrial capabilities of SKF in behind Orbital Marine’s world leading technology. It also provides Orbital with access to the resources of one of Europe’s largest OEM’s. SKF has an annual turnover of over £6bn in global equipment sales and services.
This latest announcement builds on an existing agreement which sees the blade pitching hubs for the machine also being supplied by the Swedish headquartered engineering and manufacturing giant.
Orbital has been working with SKF for the supply of critical bearing and sealing components since 2011; in both its 250kW unit and the SR2000-2MW unit, which produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12-month continuous test programme at EMEC.
However, the commercial supply arrangement for the O2 2MW turbine is a departure from the historical component supply model to one where SKF is providing Orbital fully integrated drivetrain solutions covering both nacelles and pitching hubs for the world’s most advanced tidal turbine.
Talking about the relationship, Orbital Marine’s CEO, Andrew Scott, said: “At Orbital Marine we are about delivering a total, innovative solution that enables low cost tidal stream energy. Commercialising our technology will create an entirely new global market for power generation equipment and services and we are delighted to be working with SKF to unlock this.”
Michael Baumann, Business Development Manager Marine and Ocean Energy at SKF said: “We are a technical partner to advanced tidal turbine device developers for almost a decade now and are delighted that our long-term partnership with Orbital evolves to the next major step from providing main mechanical sub-systems to fully integrated power train solutions. We see tremendous potential for floating tidal technology due to its low installation and operating costs and are keen to create value-adding solutions for our customers.”
Orbital’s contract that has been placed with SKF follows recent contract awards as part of the overall build programme for he the O2; these include the O2 manufacturing contract to TEXO Group in Dundee and an anchors contract to FAUN Trackway in Anglesey.
The announcement also follows the Scottish Government’s award (in August 2019) of a £3.4m grant to Orbital Marine; this money is drawn from the Scottish Government’s £10m Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.
Media contacts at Orbital Marine Power:
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.
SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. SKF offers solutions around the rotating shaft, including bearings, seals, lubrication management, condition monitoring and maintenance services. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2018 were SEK 85 713 million and the number of employees was 44,428. www.skf.com ® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.