Tagged as the “most powerful” tidal turbine, the ‘O2‘ started supplying energy from its strategic location off Orkney coast. The location is an archipelago situated towards the northern side of Scotland.
The Orbital Marine Power Company created the O2. The 2 MW floating turbine is rooted off the Fall of Warness near the Scottish Islands. A strong subsea cable links it strategically to the onshore electricity framework network.
The manufacturing of the turbine was conducted in Dundee in 2021 before it was shipped to Orkney. O2 is the first supreme commercial turbine by the Orbital Power Company. This news marks a significant milestone for the UK’s marine energy sector.
The turbine weighs 74m long and 680 metric tons and will operate from off the shores of Orkney for the next coming 15 years. It is capable of covering the annual electricity requirement of around 2,000 UK homes. The turbine will provide clean and sufficient power from the fast-riveting waters.
The turbine would power up the onshore electrolyzer of European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC). It will subsequently generate green hydrogen, which can demonstrate the decarbonization of broader energy requirements.
Chief executive of Orbital Marine Power, Andrew Scott, stated: “It stands as a significant milestone for the O2. I would specifically commend the entire team at Orbital and the supply chain for perfectly delivering this pioneering renewable energy project proactively and successfully.
The vision of O2 is that the renewable project is a crucial trigger to harness and utilize tidal stream resources across the world in tackling climate change. Subsequently, we also aim to create a new, low-carbon sector in the industrial sphere.”
The funding for the construction of the turbine came from public lenders. The investments were done through the ethical investment platform- Abundance Investment. The Scottish Government additionally supported the concrete project the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.
The O2 project also receives financial support from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This programme is controlled under the Floating Tidal Energy Commercialisation (FloTEC) project and the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg North-West Europe Programme under the Integrated Tidal Energy into the European Grid (ITEG) project.
Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for net-zero and energy, stated, “With plenty of natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland can efficiently harness the global market for procuring marine energy while ensuring a net-zero economy.’ It is because of this the Scottish Government has over 10 years been supporting the marine energy sector.
The Government is also supporting the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge fund, which offered £3.4M for this project. The deployment process of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the pioneering and powerful tidal turbine, stands as a proud and crucial moment for Scotland and a remarkable milestone in our journey towards net zero.”
Orbital Marine Power is now looking forward to commercializing renewable technology through deploying multi-MW arrays.
Andrew Scott further added that “We stand by the belief that pioneering the vision across the UK will give us a broad spectrum of political initiatives towards net zero.
It will level up and rise better like demonstrating global leadership in the sphere of low carbon innovation, which is crucial in creating a sustainable tomorrow for the future generations.”