The European Commission’s largest research and innovation programme – Horizon2020 – has awarded a grant of €10 million (£7.75m) to Scotrenewables’ floating tidal energy technology.
The Floating Tidal Energy Commercialisation (FloTEC) project will demonstrate the potential for floating tidal systems to provide low-cost, high-value energy to the European grid mix.
The FloTEC project will advance Scotrenewables’ current 2MW floating tidal technology, the SR2000, with the development of a mark 2 turbine.
Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, made the announcement in his keynote address at a marine energy conference in Edinburgh
He said: “Scotrenewables has proven that collaboration is a vital component in overcoming the challenges facing successful tidal energy deployment – a view echoed by the members who have joined this impressive partnership.
“The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies have been proud supporters of Scotrenewables from the early days of the development of the SR250 prototype. Scotrenewables has taken a significant step closer to demonstrating that extracting energy from our seas can be a commercially viable, cost competitive option for producing clean, green energy.”
Led by Scotrenewables, FloTEC brings together commercial, industrial and research organisations involved in tidal energy, such as DP Energy; Harland and Wolff, European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC); ABB Ltd; EireComposites; Technology from Ideas; University College Cork and SKF.
The SR2000-M2 prototype will be installed alongside the SR2000-M1 at EMEC’s tidal test site at the Fall of Warness in Orkney, forming a 4MW floating tidal array to serve as a demonstration platform for commercially viable tidal stream energy as well as optimising energy extraction for arrays in locally varying tidal resources.
There will be a significant focus on reducing the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) at every stage of the design, build and demonstration of the SR2000-M2, with significant capital and operational cost reductions expected.
James Murray, Business Development Manager, Scotrenewables Tidal Power, said: “The ambition of FloTEC is to drive down the cost of tidal energy through the delivery of a number of targeted innovations on an enhanced variant of Scotrenewables’ SR2000 floating tidal turbine.
“Engineering will commence in early 2016 and will include advanced power conversion hardware, low cost manufacturing technologies, load reduction mooring components and integrated energy storage.”
EMEC Managing Director, Neil Kermode, added: “Having successfully tested their 250kW prototype at EMEC since 2011, we’re extremely excited to see the next generation SR2000 take its place over the coming months.
“The performance assessment at EMEC will provide evidence of the enhancements that have been made to the SR2000-M2, de-risking the technology and improving investor confidence, supporting the technology towards commercialisation”.