Sustainable Energy

UK firm bags multi-million dollar contract for the 'world's most powerful' tidal turbine

Key Points
  • The Orbital O2 will use a 73-meter-long "floating superstructure" to support two 1 megawatt turbines.
  • Work on the turbine will take place at quayside facilities in the Scottish city of Dundee.
Orbital Marine Power

The main manufacturing contract for what is being dubbed the "world's most powerful tidal turbine" has been awarded to the Scotland-based TEXO Group.

In an announcement Tuesday, Orbital Marine Power said the award of the multi-million-pound contract marked the start of "major construction" on the Orbital O2 tidal stream turbine. The TEXO Group will undertake the work at its quayside facilities in the city of Dundee, Orbital said.

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. It's scheduled to commence operations in 2020. 

The development of the Orbital O2 turbine, which can produce more than 2 MW from tidal stream resources, follows on from the 2016 launch of Orbital's 2 MW SR2000 turbine.

Located at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland, the SR2000 produced more than 3 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity in 12 months of continuous testing.

Andrew Scott, the CEO of Orbital, described the O2 as a "flagship engineering project for the emerging tidal sector."

"The results that we achieved with the SR2000 over the past two years are a convincing validation of our low-cost approach to generating clean, predictable power from tidal stream energy," Scott added.

The European Commission has described "ocean energy" as being both abundant and renewable. It's estimated that ocean energy could potentially contribute around 10% of the EU's power demand by 2050, according to the Commission.