VESSEL REVIEW | O2 – Scottish tech firm develops large 2MW tidal turbine

Photo: Orbital Marine Power

Orbital Marine Power (OMP), a Scotland-based developer of floating tidal turbine technology, has introduced a new 2MW tidal turbine.

The locally-built O2 turbine started construction at the Port of Dundee facilities of manufacturer the TEXO Group in the second half of 2019. OMP said it 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.

The O2 turbine has a 680-tonne, 74-metre-long hull structure with twin 1MW power-generating nacelles at the end of retractable leg structures designed to give low-cost access to all major components for through life servicing. An array of 10-metre-long blades gives the turbine more than 600 square metres of swept area to capture flowing tidal energy at a current speed of 2.5 m/s.

Photo: Orbital Marine Power

The floating structure is held on station with a four-point mooring system where each mooring chain has the capacity to lift what OMP claims is the equivalent weight of over 50 double decker buses. O2 has been designed so that installation of the turbine, and all its associated moorings, can be carried out by low-cost work vessels and servicing can be performed even by small rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), minimising downtime and lowering construction and operational costs.

Electricity is transferred from the turbine via a dynamic cable to the seabed and a static cable along the seabed to the local onshore electricity network.

O2 is presently deployed in the Orkney Islands off Scotland where it will undergo additional commissioning before being connected to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) where it will become what TEXO claims is the world’s most powerful operational tidal turbine.

Type of vessel:Tidal turbine
Owner:Orbital Marine Power, UK
Vessel delivery company:Osprey Group, UK
Builder:TEXO Group, UK
Length overall:74 metres
Displacement:680 tonnes
Other equipment installed:2 x nacelles; mooring system
Operational area:Orkney Islands, UK

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