Orbital Marine Power takes final lessons from SR2000 tidal turbine and brings prototype programme to a close

ISSUE DATE: 12/08/20 

Orbital Marine Power Ltd (Orbital), working with Thompsons of Prudhoe and Port of Blyth, have decommissioned their prototype 2MW SR2000 floating tidal turbine. Heavy lift specialists Mammoet managed the tandem lift of the 516-tonne structure out of the water and onto the Blyth quayside in what was the port’s largest heavy lift to date.

Orbital are reclaiming key components and elements of the turbine to carry out engineering inspections, with the remainder of the structure to be dismantled for recycling and disposal. The unit was towed from Orkney to the Northumberland facility by Leask Marine using the C-Odyssey vessel.

The final phase of the full-scale demonstration project follows a hugely successful test programme which saw over 3,250 MWh of electricity generated by the SR2000 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.  Building on the success of the SR2000 Orbital are currently in the process of manufacturing their 2MW O2 turbine to replace the SR2000 at EMEC early next year. The O2 incorporates key innovations and lessons from the SR2000 that, on a like-for-like basis, will enable a 35% improvement in yield at EMEC.

Speaking about the end of the SR2000 programme Andrew Scott, Orbital CEO, said: “The SR2000 was an industry break-through and its success is a testimony to the team who engineered, built and operated it. Not only did it validate the conceptual benefits of our floating tidal solution, but it re-set the performance bar for the sector. A truly outstanding platform for us to be building on with our new O2 turbine. I would also like to thank Thompsons of Prudhoe and Port of Blyth for planning and executing the decommissioning of the SR2000 with precision and professionalism.”

Nick Shilling, Managing Director of Thompsons of Prudhoe, said: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to decommission the SR2000 on behalf of Orbital Marine Power. This Project gives us a strong platform to demonstrate and promote our capabilities to the offshore industry for all future onshore dismantling and waste disposal requirements”.

Alan Todd, Port Director of Port of Blyth, said: “Completing the largest project lift the Port has ever planned and executed highlights the skill and competence of the Port of Blyth’s engineering and operations teams. Although we have a wealth of experience in relation to heavy project lifts, the tidal turbine brought its own challenges and required exceptional planning and a well-coordinated operation. The project also highlights both the strength and potential of our new decommissioning partnership with Thompsons of Prudhoe.”

Orbital SR2000 Lift July 2020 2


Media contact at Orbital Marine Power:

Sarah Watt, Marketing & Media Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Notes to editor:

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 SR2000 was manufactured and launched in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast in 2016 before being towed to Orkney to be installed at the EMEC grid connected test facility at the Fall of Warness.

At a rated capacity of 2MW the SR2000 was the world’s most powerful tidal turbine. In early commissioning, it reached a peak of 2.24MW export power at the EMEC substation. During its test programme the SR2000 achieved some noteworthy milestones:

  • In 12 months of continuous generation into the Orkney grid the prototype turbine exported over 3GWh. This was more power than had been exported to the grid in Scotland from all wave and tidal turbines in the preceding 12 years prior to the launch of the SR2000 in 2016.
  • The entire project lifecycle of the SR2000 through construction, installation, operation and decommissioning was completed with small workboats or lighter. No heavy lift or large anchor handling vessels were used.
  • At times SR2000 was measured to have been meeting around 25% of total electricity demand of the Orkney Islands.
  • During the period of a measured full week of generation the SR2000 provided almost 8% of total electricity demand of the Orkney Islands.
  • At times output from the turbine was being used by EMEC to generate hydrogen for use in displacing fossil fuel-based usage on the Orkney Islands.
  • The SR2000 maintained rated power in seas of 2m significant wave height and maintained generation is seas of 3.5m significant wave height. The largest wave the turbine withstood was >6m. The SR2000 saw instantaneous power generations of over 100kW from wave power alone.
  • The quickest maintenance intervention time demonstrated by the Orbital operational team was under 40 minutes from quayside to turbine.

The O2 turbine design will build on the SR2000 and is Orbital’s first commercial turbine model.




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