Orbital Marine Power (Orbital) has been awarded £3.4million from the Scottish Government for its O2 Tidal device.
As part of the £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund, 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.
The tidal device, which has 360° turbine rotors, allowing power to be extracted from both tidal directions, will be made in Scotland by Scottish company Texo Group at their new quayside facilities in Dundee.
Key components will be delivered by Gray Fabrication in Cupar using material from Liberty Steel in Motherwell.
The O2 2MW Floating Tidal Energy Turbine will be capable of powering more than 1,700 homes per year in Orkney.
Paul Wheelhouse, Energy Minister in the Scottish Government, 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.”
Andrew Scott, Orbital Marine’s Chief Executive Officer 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.”
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.