The most powerful tidal turbine in the world has hit peak power generation for the first time ever. Situated off the coast of Orkney the SR2000 sent an impressive 2 Megawatts of electricity into the local grid on April 12th.
The turbine, which was developed and manufactured by Scottish firm Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, reached full rated power at the European Marine Energy Centre, Orkney.
Andrew Scott, CEO, said: “We are tremendously excited to have the SR2000 demonstrating the performance and cost advantages of our floating tidal technology, in line with forecasts, whilst delivering new benchmarks within the tidal sector. This performance resets the bar for the costs of delivering tidal power. Achieving this industry milestone is a goal the team at Scotrenewables have worked tirelessly towards for a long time – the credit lies with them for these fantastic achievements.”
After undergoing grid connected commissioning works prior to Christmas last year, the ‘SR2000’ was re-connected to its subsea cable in a low cost connection operation that took under an hour. All offshore operations have been delivered with small crew transfer vessels or locally based workboats.
Following energisation, the 500 tonne floating tidal turbine commenced generation and power export to the local Orkney grid. Since then the turbine has been undergoing a phased testing programme leading to full, 2MW rated export capacity.
Founder and Director, Barry Johnston, said: “After developing the initial concept more than a decade ago, it’s fantastic to now see the latest evolution of the tidal turbine proving it’s low cost power generation capability onsite connected to the UK national grid”.
The deployment is already feeding into design optimisations being made under the company’s commercialisation project, FloTEC, which will see an even lower cost SR2000 model rolled out as a commercial offering in 2018.
The FloTEC project will advance Scotrenewables’ already low cost floating tidal technology to a 25% lower Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE), preproduction model through a series of targeted innovations that will be delivered in an SR2000 Mark 2 machine.
The project, which is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon2020 programme, brings together several of Scotrenewables supply chain and strategic partners to deliver promising innovations in a number of areas including the following:
- Centralised Power Conversion with Integrated Energy Storage
- Improved energy capture through increased rotor swept area
- Advanced lower cost manufacturing techniques in both turbine structure and blades
- Mooring load dampers to peak mooring loads
Project partners are ABB UK, Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries, Technology from Ideas, Eirecomposites, University College Cork, DP Energy, SKF and EMEC.