Developer of floating tidal stream turbines, Orbital Marine Power, has awarded the main manufacturing contract for the company’s first commercial O2 tidal stream turbine to Scottish based TEXO Group, who will carry out the work at their quayside facilities in Dundee.
Courtesy of Orbital Marine Power
The multi-million-pound contract marks the start of major construction for the company’s new tidal stream turbine, the O2, which builds on the hugely successful 2 MW SR2000 turbine which generated over 3 GWh in its first year of testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.
The O2, capable of generating over 2 MW from tidal stream resources, will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation later next year (2020) as part of a long term project at EMEC. It features several innovations focused on further reducing the cost of energy from the company’s disruptive technology.
“This is a flagship engineering project for the emerging tidal sector and we are delighted to be working with TEXO Group to showcase the very capable supply chain we are fortunate to have around us in Scotland and the wider UK” said Andrew Scott, Orbital’s Chief Executive Officer. “The results that we achieved with the SR2000 over the past two years are a convincing validation of our low-cost approach to generating clean, predictable power from tidal stream energy. The Orbital team are really excited to be building on that success with the O2, which we are confident will further reduce costs and cement our position at the forefront of this exciting new renewable sector.”
Robert Dalziel, Managing Director, TEXO Group, added that the O2 is a pioneering project that will transform the future of tidal energy on a global scale and will be a showcase for the very best in Scottish engineering. TEXO has a wealth of experience in marine engineering with particular expertise in offshore oil and gas – this project will enable the company to showcase its vast capabilities for the offshore renewables sector.
The O2 project has been financed in a number of ways including EU Horizon 2020 funding and a £7 million crowdfunding bond which Orbital successfully raised at the start of the year, one of the largest peer-to-peer debentures in UK history. The project also benefits from previously offered market support for the sector via the Renewable Obligation.
Orbital’s Andrew Scott added that the company is hoping the UK Government will work constructively towards creating a wider future market opportunity to harness the UK’s fantastic tidal energy resources, in turn creating an entirely new domestic low carbon generating industry with sustainable export capabilities.
John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council, said that the news is a huge boost for the city, both in terms of economic benefit and confidence in its facilities and workforce. Significant investments have already been made in renewable energy in Dundee by a number of companies this year. This demonstrates the good track record the city maintains in the sector and its strategic position with regard to supplying coastal infrastructure and the supply chain and skills needed to deliver high quality jobs in sustainability.