Record power for tidal stream turbine

Floating tidal stream turbine Scotrenewables Tidal Power’s SR2000 has supplied the equivalent annual electricity demand of around 830 UK households over a 12-month period. Credit: Scotrenewables Tidal Power

Scotrenewables Tidal Power’s first 2MW floating tidal stream turbine has clocked up over 3GWh of renewable electricity in its first year of testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.

In 12 months of continuous operation the SR2000 has supplied the equivalent annual electricity demand of around 830 UK households and at times has been supplying over 25% of the electricity demand of the Orkney Islands.

Andrew Scott, CEO of Scotrenewables Tidal Power, said: “The SR2000’s phenomenal performance has set a new benchmark for the tidal industry. Despite being an R&D project, and it being our first full scale turbine, its first year of testing at EMEC has delivered a performance level approaching that of widely deployed mature renewable technologies.”

Low operating cost

Power generation has been aided by easy access for routine maintenance and using low cost vessels to do so means operating costs and outage times are minimised, said Mr Scott.

The team at Scotrenewables believes that this, combined with Meygen’s generation of over 8GWh over the past year from four tidal turbines deployed in the Pentland Firth, is convincing evidence of tidal power’s market readiness.

With support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme, the company is planning to start the build of a 2MW commercial production unit later in the year, which will also go to Orkney for testing before the company targets sales of the turbine.

However, the company plans to focus on oversea opportunities as it believes the UK will not provide the market support it needs.

Hannah Smith, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “To keep driving progress it’s critical that both Scottish and UK governments recognise the potential of these technologies and work with industry to fully commercialise these innovations."

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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