Scotrenewables Tidal Power award fabrication contract to Gray Fabrication for world’s largest tidal turbine
Scotrenewables Tidal Power, the world leader in the development of floating tidal turbines based in Orkney (in Scotland), have awarded a key fabrication contract for the superstructure of the SR2000 tidal turbine to Gray Fabrication based in Cupar, Fife.
The 2MW turbine, the SR2000, will be the culmination of more than 12 years of research, design and testing at increasing scales at Scotrenewables’ headquarters in Stromness, Orkney. Once launched next year the turbine will be the most powerful tidal turbine in the world to date. The turbine will be demonstrated at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney from 2015 ahead of sale of units to tidal array developers.
The 64m floating hull being fabricated by Gray’s will form the structural backbone of the SR2000. The floating turbine is designed specifically to minimise installation and maintenance costs featuring a radically different design from seabed tidal turbine competitors, with a floating hull incorporating 2 x 1MW rotors mounted on retractable legs. This allows the draught of the turbine to be reduced for towing in and out of shallow harbours, with all marine operations involved being carried out by small low-cost vessels. The hull sections will also house the turbine’s electrical and control equipment, allowing direct access to the turbine for maintenance while at sea, another core design approach of Scotrenewables aimed at keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.
The hull sections will be constructed at the company’s fabrication facility in Cupar ahead of delivery to a Scottish fabrication yard for final assembly later this year.
Mark Hamilton, Managing Director of Scotrenewables said:
“We are delighted to award this contract to Gray Fabrication. The SR2000 turbine is of major importance to the company and represents the full-scale version of our technology. Gray Fabrication were selected as our preferred fabricator for this key contract after an extensive tendering process with fabricators across the UK. We are delighted to award the contract to a fabricator within Scotland, and Gray Fabrication are a shining example of the strength and quality of the Scottish manufacturing sector. We look forward to working with them as our project and the wider marine renewables industry continues to develop.
Jonathan Meason, CTO of Scotrenewables said:
“The turbine will have to survive the challenging wave and tidal conditions of the north Atlantic, which is why we have chosen Gray’s, whose combination of 25 years of fabrication experience and extremely high professional standards, gives us the confidence we need.”
“Gray Fabrication Ltd. said : “We are delighted to be awarded this contract and to be involved in the construction of this innovative and impressive structure.
This order represents a significant workload for Gray Fabrication over the next few months and further reinforces our involvement in the developing renewable energy market. Many of our core skills, which were originally developed in the offshore, oil and gas industry, are equally relevant to offshore renewable energy and are ideally suited to this type of contract. Scotrenewables have worked tirelessly to get this project to its current stage of development, we wish them every success and we look forward to working closely with them to achieve a positive outcome.”
Award of further contracts for the turbine construction to Scottish fabricators and suppliers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Orkney Vessels Trials project illustrates cost savings associated with low cost vessel approach
The Orkney Vessels Trial’s project has indicated that tidal developers could save 70-80% on installation costs by the use of smaller local vessels, advocating the low cost vessel approach followed by Scotrenewables Tidal Power. The Scotrenewables floating tidal technology is designed around the use of a low-cost multi-cat workboat vessel for installation, maintenance and decommissioning.
The £1.1 m project carried out by EMEC and local consultancy Aquatera set out to identify how Orkney based vessels could carry out complex marine operations cost effectively. EMEC said the project included a set of six performance trials covering workboat positioning and dynamic loading, gantry barge positioning and device deployment, clump weight friction, remote operated vehicle (ROV) operations, responses to man overboard situations in tidal currents and dynamics of buoy submergence.
The project took place in the winter months in Orkney waters and involved 20 local organisations and over 120 individuals working together on over 60 vessel operations.