The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has announced the connection of the world’s most powerful tidal turbine to the national grid for the first time. The power’s O2 is connected to the mainland via sub-sea cable to the 2MW offshore unit and then on to the local onshore electricity network.
The O2 received 3.4 million pounds in funding from the Scottish Government in 2019. The company Orbital Marine Power then used the money to develop a tidal turbine that is capable of powering more than 1,700 homes each year. The O2 is the firm’s first commercial turbine which is 74 metres long and is expected to operate in the waters off Orkney for around 15 years
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” Andrew Scott, CEO at Orbital, said. “We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The O2 has the capacity to provide clean and predictable energy to meet the annual demands of around 2,000 British homes. Additionally, the O2 is to provide power to EMEC’s onshore electrolyser to generate green hydrogen that will be used to demonstrate decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.