New designs unveiled for the 'world's most powerful' tidal turbine 

  • The Orbital O2 will use a 73-meter-long "floating superstructure" to support two 1 megawatt turbines on each side.
  • Orbital Marine Power plans to deploy the turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre, Orkney, in 2020.
This illustration depicts how the Orbital O2 turbine will look when in the water. 
Orbital Marine Power Ltd 
This illustration depicts how the Orbital O2 turbine will look when in the water. 

The designs for a commercial production tidal turbine have been unveiled by U.K.-based firm Orbital Marine Power, which claims it will be the "most powerful tidal generating platform in the world" when launched.

In an announcement Friday, Orbital Marine Power said it planned to deploy its Orbital O2 2MW turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre, in Orkney, in 2020.

The Orbital O2 will use a 73-meter-long "floating superstructure" to support two 1 megawatt (MW) turbines on each side and will have rotor diameters of 20 meters.

The device is set to have a nameplate power output — which refers to the maximum amount of power the turbine can produce — of 2 MW at tidal current speeds of 2.5 meters per second.

Formerly called Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd., Orbital Marine Power launched its SR2000 turbine in 2016. During its initial 12-month test program, the SR2000 generated more than 3 gigawatt hours of electricity.

"The Orbital O2 is a low-cost solution for future commercial projects and builds on the features which made the SR2000 an industry breakthrough," Andrew Scott, Orbital Marine Power's CEO, said in a statement.

"This optimized turbine will unlock tidal markets around the world at a competitive price point and provide regulators and investors with a new, predictable renewable energy option," Scott added.

The European Commission, the legislative arm of the EU, has described "ocean energy" as being both abundant and renewable. Ocean energy could potentially contribute around 10 percent of the European Union's power demand by 2050, according to the Commission.