Scotland awards £3.4m for ‘world’s most powerful’ tidal turbine

The O2 2MW Floating Tidal Energy Turbine’s rotors can be turned 360° to allow power to be extracted from both directions

The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million to help build what is claimed will be the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine.

Scottish engineering company Orbital Marine Power will use the funding to deliver the next generation O2 2MW Floating Tidal Energy Turbine, which will be capable of powering more than 1,700 homes a year.

The 72-metre long O2 will be built in Scotland and installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

Its turbine rotors can be turned 360° to allow power to be extracted from both tidal directions, with the device manufactured by Scottish company Texo Group and key components delivered by Gray Fabrication using material from Liberty Steel.

Scotland has an estimated one third of the UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of wave resources.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “We believe tidal energy technology can not only play an important role in our own future energy system but it has substantial export potential and this fund will help move tidal technologies closer to commercial deployment.

“However, the large scale rollout of both tidal and wave energy technologies has been harmed by the UK Government’s decision in 2016 to abandon its commitment to provide ring-fenced funding support.

“UK ministers must act quickly to provide the revenue support this exciting and innovative sector requires to achieve its economic potential.”

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