The world’s most powerful tidal turbine has commenced grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
Developed by the Scottish-based floating tidal turbine technology firm Orbital Marine Power, the 2MW offshore unit is expected to operate in the waters off Orkney for the next 15 years with the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of around 2,000 UK homes.
The 74 m long turbine, named O2, is to provide power to EMEC’s onshore electrolyser to generate green hydrogen that will be used to demonstrate decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” said Andrew Scott, Orbital CEO.
The O2 was manufactured and launched in Dundee earlier in the year and is Orbital’s first commercial turbine. It reflects approximately 80% UK supply content and is estimated to have supported over 80 jobs within the UK economy. Orbital said it is now setting its sights on commercialising its technology through the deployment of multi-MW arrays.