The Scottish government has released £3.4m (€3.75m) in funding for what will be the world’s most powerful floating tidal energy turbine.
The funding, the first tranche to be awarded from the government’s Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund, will go towards supporting Scottish engineering firm Orbital Marine Power in building the ‘next generation’ O2 2MW Floating Tidal Energy Turbine. The turbine, which will be built in Dundee, Scotland by critical infrastructure engineering company Texo Group and installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney on its completion, is projected to be capable of powering over 1,700 homes per year.
Andrew Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Orbital, 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.”
Around two thirds of the UK’s wave resources and around a third of its tidal stream resources originate in Scotland. The £10m (€11.01m) Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund was launched in February 2019 with the aim of encouraging innovation and investment in clean, renewable tidal energy; and will remain open until December 2019.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse 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 rollout of both tidal and wave energy technologies has been harmed by the UK Government’s decision in 2016 to abandon its commitment to provide ringfenced funding support. UK ministers must act quickly to provide the revenue support this exciting and innovative sector requires to achieve its economic potential.”