‘World’s most powerful’ tidal turbine starts exporting clean electricity

The 74-metre ‘O2’ turbine is capable of generating enough electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes annually

The Big Zero report

A tidal turbine claimed to be the most powerful of its kind in the world has been connected to the grid and started generating electricity at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Scotland.

Orbital Marine Power’s 74-metre ‘O2’ turbine is anchored in the Fall of Warness where a subsea cable connects the 2MW offshore unit to the local onshore electricity network.

It is expected to operate in the waters off Orkney for the next 15 years, with the capacity to meet the electricity demand of around 2,000 UK homes annually.

In what is believed to be a further “ground-breaking” element, the O2 will provide power to EMEC’s onshore electrolyser to generate green hydrogen that will be used to demonstrate decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.

Orbital CEO Andrew Scott said: “This is a major milestone for the O2 and I would like to commend the whole team at Orbital and our supply chain for delivering this pioneering renewable energy project safely and successfully.

“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.”

Michael Matheson, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero added the project is a “proud moment” for Scotland and a “significant milestone” in the nation’s journey to net zero.

Orbital is now looking to commercialise its technology through the deployment of multi-MW arrays.

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