In a second world-first for Scottish energy in as many days, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is due to begin testing in Orkney.
At 63m in length, the Scotrenewables Tidal Power SR2000 turbine is longer than the Scott Monument in Edinburgh is tall and is capable of generating 2MW of power – enough to meet the needs of approximately 2,000 homes over the course of a year.
It has been hailed as a potential “game changer” by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse.
On a visit today to Hatston pier, where the SR2000 is undergoing final commissioning checks in advance of being connected to its mooring system on the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) test site in Orkney, Wheelhouse said:
“Scotland’s capacity to generate tidal power is considerable and this device has the potential to be a real game changer for the industry, not only here in Scotland, but across the world.
“Floating technology like this is likely to be easy and cheap to install, maintain and decommission. This will increase the commercial viability of tidal energy, which is crucial as we continue to transition towards a low carbon economy.
Andrew Scott, Chief Executive of Scotrenewables, said: “Scottish Government have been consistent in their vision and support for the marine renewables sector and that has been vital in getting a second generation technology like ours to this stage.
“It’s obviously a critical phase in the project but we’re looking forward to the test programme and providing clear evidence of the significant advantages our technology can bring to the sector whilst offering a step-change in reducing costs.”
The company’s novel floating technology offers a low cost solution for simplified and safe manufacture, installation, access and maintenance along with the ability to use low cost, small workboats for all offshore operations. The company currently employs 25 staff with offices in Orkney and Edinburgh.
Scotrenewables Tidal Power has recently been selected by the European Commission to lead on the engineering and delivery of an enhanced model of the 500-tonne SR2000 machine. Leveraging £7 million in Horizon 2020 funding, Scotrenewables will lead an industrial consortium to optimise the SR2000 under the “FloTEC” project which is scheduled to run until 2019.