A tidal turbine weighing 680 metric loads and called “the world’s most powerful” has actually been released from the Port of Dundee in Scotland, marking another significant advance in the development of the U.K.’s marine energy sector.
In a statement Thursday, Scottish firm Orbital Marine Power stated its 2 megawatt (MW) turbine, the Orbital O2, would now be towed to the Orkney Islands, an island chain north of mainland Scotland, for commissioning.
The plan is for the turbine to then be linked to the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre, where it will end up being operational.
Construction deal with the O2, which has a length of more than 70 meters and uses 10 meter blades, started in the 2nd half of 2019. Orbital Marine Power said its launch marked “the completion of the turbine construct.”
According to the firm, the turbine has the ability to produce enough electrical energy to meet the requirements of around 2,000 U.K. homes each year. Orbital’s CEO, Andrew Scott, described the launch as a “substantial turning point” for his business.
Orbital Marine Power’s statement comes a day after Mocean Energy, which is also based in Scotland, stated its wave energy prototype, Blue X, would undertake sea trials at an EMEC test website next month before being deployed at another site in the summer season. The maker weighs 38 metric loads and is 20 meters long.
With miles and miles of coastline, the U.K. is home to a variety of jobs and efforts associated with marine energy.
Previously this month, for example, it was announced that a year-long research project focusing on the potential of tidal, wave and drifting wind technology had secured assistance from Marine-i, a program centered around innovation in locations such as marine energy.
The project will be based on the Isles of Scilly, an island chain located off the southwest coast of England, and led by Isles of Scilly Neighborhood Venture, Planet A Energy and Waves4Power.
And back in March, the Port of London Authority offered the proceed for trials of tidal energy technology on a section of the River Thames, a relocation which might ultimately help to decarbonize operations linked to the river.
While interest in marine-based energy systems seems growing, the existing footprint of the industry and its innovations stays small.
Recent figures from Ocean Energy Europe reveal that only 260 kilowatts (kW) of tidal stream capability was included Europe last year, while just 200 kW of wave energy was installed.
By contrast, 2020 saw 14.7 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy capacity set up in Europe, according to industry body WindEurope.
Looking ahead, the European Commission desires the capacity of ocean energy technologies to strike 100 MW by 2025 and approximately 1 GW by 2030.