• Orbital Marine Power's O2 tidal turbine in Orkney

New tidal energy project in Orkney waters

Plans for a new tidal energy project in Orkney that could create a dozen permanent jobs locally have been announced by Orbital Marine Power.

The renewable energy company’s pioneering O2 device – the world’s most powerful tidal turbine - is currently installed at Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre Warness site. The proposed development in the nearby Westray Firth, which is expected to bring in more than £120m of investment and create hundreds of jobs nationwide, could see around 12 Orbital devices installed.

The project has been awarded a 30MW Option Agreement from Crown Estate Scotland and the company has confirmed it has a grid connection in place too.

Ofgem’s announced recently that it is minded to approve a new 220MW transmission connection between Orkney and the Scottish mainland to service renewable power exports from the islands provided welcome support to the industry locally. Orbital Marine Power is already aiming to install three more of its tidal turbines at the EMEC site to expand its generation capacity in the coming years.

According to the company the waters around Orkney have significant energy potential and the Westray site is just one example of how this can be harnessed to provide clean, predictable power. The next step will see the Orbital team work with stakeholders and carry out environmental studies in a push to reach consent application as soon as possible.

Andrew Scott, CEO at Orbital Marine Power, said: “As the UK looks to accelerate the decarbonisation of its energy system, we firmly believe tidal projects can bring unique benefits while harnessing a perfectly predictable and secure source of renewable energy. We’re proud to be building that vision in Orkney with this investment in our Westray Project.”

Find out more about Orbital Marine Power from the official website.

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