World’s most powerful tidal turbine launched in UK

23rd April 2021 | Commercial Energy

The world’s “most powerful tidal turbine” was launched yesterday to coincide with Earth Day.  The 74m-long, 680-tonne Orbital 02 entered the River Tay in Dundee and is now being towed to Orkney, where it will use sea currents to generate enough energy to power up to 2,000 homes, according to Scotland-based developers Orbital Marine Power.

Once active, the Orbital 02 will become the world’s most powerful operational tidal turbine. Orbital chief executive Andrew Scott said it was a “huge milestone”.  Scott said: “The 02 is a remarkable example of British clean tech innovation and the build we have completed here is an inspiring display of what a UK supply chain can achieve if given the opportunity – even under the extraordinary pressures of a pandemic.”

In a statement, Orbital said: “02 has the ability to generate enough clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.”  Ben Miller, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “The launch of the 02 turbine today in Dundee deserves global attention, as coastal nations seek out the marine technologies that can deliver our net-zero future.

“Orbital should be very proud of this contribution to engineering and the UK supply chain and we look forward to its operation in Orkney, a fitting home for one of Scotland’s beacons of energy innovation.”  Construction on the turbine started in 2019, with around 80 per cent of the building materials sourced from the UK.

Tidal power is increasingly making waves in the renewable energy sphere. It has already been deployed in the waters around Scotland at a number of locations to harness the power of the sea.

Last month, a tidal-powered electric vehicle charge point was launched in Shetland by Nova Innovation, which the company claimed was a UK first. The facility is located on the shores of Bluemull Sound, at Cullivoe harbour on the island of Yell in Shetland.

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