The world’s most powerful tidal turbine – developed and manufactured by Scottish engineering company Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited – has been installed on its moorings for the first time at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney as part of site commissioning and testing.
Adhering to engineering a low-cost, low-risk approach, Scotrenewables completed all site construction and installation work for the 2-MW unit, including installation of the 500-tonne turbine itself, using locally available workboat vessels.
The SR2000 floating turbine was towed to the site from Kirkwall by Green Marine vessel, Green Isle.
Andrew Scott, Chief Executive, Scotrenewables Tidal Power, said: “This is a tremendous achievement for the company and, I’d venture, the tidal sector.
“And it has only been possible through the determination, vision and ingenuity of a small, but highly determined team that has worked relentlessly to get to this exciting milestone. I’d also like to thank the team at Green Marine whose input and professionalism has been a major benefit to us.
“We see it as a real feather in our cap that we’ve managed to execute a construction and installation programme for a 2MW turbine using only low cost vessels.
“This will be a short installation but we’ll be seeking to further emphasise clear benefits of our approach in the operational phase where much of the standard maintenance can be carried out with simple crew transfer vessels, and validate a game-changing reduction in cost of energy for the tidal sector.”
The SR2000, the world’s largest tidal turbine, was launched in Belfast before being towed to Orkney. Since then, the 63m machine has undergone a series of successful tow trials where simulated flow conditions behind a tow vessel allows the technical team to commission systems and complete functional tests in a controlled fashion ahead of starting its grid connected test programme.
Jason Schofield, Managing Director of Orkney based Green Marine, said: “It has been refreshing to work with the Scotrenewables team on their pioneering turbine which we feel has let us play to our strengths and implement a low -cost and locally based solution for them.”
The SR2000 project has been supported by investments from Scotrenewables shareholders, which include ABB, DP Energy, Fred Olsen, and French oil giant, Total.
Scotrenewables has also been selected by the EU Commission to lead on the engineering and delivery of an enhanced model of the SR2000 machine. The company currently employs 25 people, with offices in Orkney and Edinburgh.