Orbital Marine Power (Orbital) has awarded the main manufacturing contract for its first commercial O2 tidal stream turbine to Scottish based TEXO Group, who will carry out the work at their quayside facilities in Dundee.
The multi-million-pound contract marks the start of major construction for the company’s new tidal stream turbine, the O2, which builds on the 2MW SR2000 turbine which generated over 3GWh in its first year of testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.
The O2, capable of generating over 2MW from tidal stream resources, will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation in 2020 as part of a long term project at EMEC.
Andrew Scott, Orbital’s CEO, said: “This is a flagship engineering project for the emerging tidal sector and we are delighted to be working with TEXO Group to showcase the very capable supply chain we are fortunate to have around us in Scotland and the wider UK. 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. The Orbital team are really excited to be building on that success with the O2, which we are confident will further reduce costs and cement our position at the forefront of this exciting new renewable sector.”
Robert Dalziel, managing director, TEXO Group, said: ”We are proud and privileged to be awarded this prestigious contract. The O2 is a pioneering project that will transform the future of tidal energy on a global scale and will be a showcase for the very best in Scottish engineering. Our team has a wealth of experience in marine engineering with particular expertise in offshore oil and gas – this project enables us to showcase our vast capabilities for the offshore renewables sector.”
The O2 project has been financed in a number of ways including EU Horizon 2020 funding and a £7-millon crowdfunding bond which Orbital raised at the start of the year, one of the largest peer-to-peer debentures in UK history. The project also benefits from previously offered market support for the sector via the Renewable Obligation.
Orbital’s Andrew Scott added: “We are really pleased to have such strong endorsement from the wider UK public of our vision for tidal energy which bridges both an industrial opportunity and a low carbon opportunity. And we hope the UK Government will work constructively with us towards creating a wider future market opportunity to harness our fantastic tidal energy resources, in turn creating an entirely new domestic low carbon generating industry with sustainable export capabilities.”
John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council, said: “This announcement is a huge boost for the city, both in terms of economic benefit and confidence in our facilities and workforce. Following significant investments by a number of companies already this year, this is another example of the hard work that has gone into bringing renewables jobs and investment to Dundee paying off. We have a good track record in this hugely important sector and we are strategically well positioned to supply the coastal infrastructure, world leading supply chain and skills needed to deliver high quality, sustainable jobs to the city that pay the Living Wage and offer future opportunities for our young people, but not at a cost to the environment.”
David Webster, senior port manager, Port of Dundee added: “This project demonstrates the capacity of the Port of Dundee to handle major renewable energy projects and the flexibility to work with our partners here in the port to make initiatives such as the O2 become a reality. We are thrilled to be working alongside TEXO Group on this project and we look forward to seeing the O2 taking shape here at the Port of Dundee.”