World First as Scots tidal turbine hits peak power

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.

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14 thoughts on “World First as Scots tidal turbine hits peak power

  1. Ian

    This is simply brilliant and inspiring news. Congratulations to everyone involved in this outstanding achievement on both the engineering and the business side of things. I love this aspect of Scotland which seems to produce a spirit of invention, together with the courage to battle through and make it happen.

    I was chatting to my son last week about a clever new river hydro scheme at Rumbling Bridge and asked him if we knew why standard international unit of power was called the “Watt”. It is so very good to see tidal generation being born in the Scotland and nice to remember that it is measured in units named after an earlier Scottish engineering pioneer.

  2. Ian J Carlile

    Absolutely brilliant. Scottish initiative and engineering at its best. Not bad for a “wee” country of only 5.3 million.
    Our contribution to the world knows no end.
    Well done to all involved. Now let’s get mass production and the sales team together and let’s get them round Scotland and get producing.

  3. Vestas

    Most houses in the UK have a 60A fuse on the mains supply. That means a maximum of around 14kW of power per house, so if everyone is drawing max power then it could supply 143 households.

    In practice most people don’t use more than half of that at any time so its more likely to be around 250-300 houses.

  4. andy mackay

    The average amount of electricity a household uses is actually 1kW, so this turbine could power 2000 houses

  5. Bibbit

    Looking forward to the Yoonuchs at Pacific House breathlessly reporting this world first, with the same suppressed malice that they daily ‘report’ alleged failing targets and postponed bridge openings etc.

    I’m being sarcastic, BTW.

  6. Robert Graham

    Really good news , its amazing what we can do left to our own devices , and without interference , wind powered energy being one of them , when it just looked like we were on a winner the plug is pulled on further development , westminster cutting its nose off to spite its face comes to mind .

  7. Sue Pagan

    Brilliant, simply brilliant. Just a shame the Scottish government didn’t continue to support the other renewables, such as small hydro schemes and small biomass heating. No longer economical to pursue these, as the incentives are no longer an incentive to install them. But all credit for the tidal achievement.

  8. grizebard

    This is just a glimpse into the future. Wind power is a very useful stop gap, but this is the real deal. It’s potentially way more important for our future prosperity even than oil.

    Properly managed, that is, for our own benefit and under our own control.

    (Should the article though not say “the European Union’s Horizon2020 programme”? You know, that confederation of independent states and important source of development funding from which we are being unwillingly ripped by our supposed “masters” in London?)

  9. Clydebuilt

    That’s a Harland and Wolff crane in the background. Was it manufactured in Northern Ireland?

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