World's largest tidal turbine launched World's largest tidal turbine launched

World's largest tidal turbine launched

An Orkney company has launched its new tidal energy turbine - the largest of its kind in the world.

Orkney based Scotrenewables Tidal Power launched its 2MW SR2000 in Belfast this week.

The SR2000 being launched in Belfast

The company, which is at the forefront of the floating tidal technology sector, unveiled the 550 tonne machine at Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd in Belfast on Thursday May 12th. It is the first commercial scale machine the company has built. The turbine will undergo preliminary tow trials in Belfast Lough before being towed to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney to commence a grid connected test programme.

The SR2000 is the culmination of more than 12 years of a detailed and incremental engineering R&D programme, with the project being supported by £1.25m funding under the Scottish Government’s WATERS2 initiative. The turbine design follows Scotrenewables’ floating generating platform philosophy, which the company expects will deliver a step-change cost and risk reduction to the commercial tidal energy sector.

The tidal energy device is the largest of its kind in the world

Speaking at the launch the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Scott, said: “This is an exciting time for the Company and a major milestone to reach, and is the result of an enormous effort by a dedicated team at Scotrenewables. We’ve also been fortunate to have been supported by a committed group of suppliers through the build, especially here with Harland and Wolff in Belfast.” Talking of the forward programme Andrew added: “We’re now looking forward to getting the machine up to EMEC and start the test programme to demonstrate more of the clear engineering and cost advantages our approach can bring to the commercial tidal sector.”

The company’s progress has been underpinned by longstanding support and investment of more than £25 million from main investors: ABB, (Scottish Government’s) Renewable Energy Investment Fund, DP Energy, Fred. Olsen Group and Total New Energies.

Simon de Pietro, CEO of DP Energy and key investor in the project says the tidal energy sector is rapidly approaching maturity. “The sector is now beyond its emerging phase and the SR2000 device is a bold step forward proving the viability of tidal as a sustainable, reliable and predictable energy source.”

After initial trials in Belfast, the turbine will be towed to Orkney for testing at EMEC

Steel fabrication of the machine was carried out by fabricators in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England with assembly and commissioning of the SR2000 taking place at Harland & Wolff shipyard over the past 12 months, drawing on H&W’s 150 years of marine manufacturing experience to deliver this next generation technology.

CEO of H&W, Robert Cooper, speaking of the project said the firm remains to the fore of renewable offshore energy developments. “We are very pleased to be able to deliver this state of the art device and to help Scotland and Northern Ireland develop new energy generating technologies.”

Find out more about the renewables industry in Orkney from the Energy of Orkney website.