Orkney-based Scotrenewables Tidal Power has launched its 2MW SR2000, the world’s largest energy generating tidal turbine.

Scotrenewables' SR2000 - the world's largest tidal turbine - is ready for trials

Scotrenewables' SR2000 - the world's largest tidal turbine - is ready for trials

The company launched the 550 tonne machine at Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd in Belfast on 12 May. It is the first such commercial scale machine the company has built and will undergo preliminary tow trials in Belfast Lough before being towed to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney to commence a grid connected test programme.

Chief executive, Andrew Scott, said: “This is an exciting time for the company and a major milestone to reach, and is the result of an enormous effort by a dedicated team at Scotrenewables.”

“We’re now looking forward to getting the machine up to EMEC and starting the test programme to demonstrate more of the clear engineering and cost advantages our approach can bring to the commercial tidal sector,” he added.

The giant turbine is the culmination of more than 12 years of a detailed R&D programme, with the project being supported by a £1.25m funding under the Scottish government’s WATERS2 initiative.

The turbine design follows Scotrenewables’ floating generating platform philosophy, which the company expects will deliver a step-change cost and risk reduction to the commercial tidal energy sector.

The company’s progress has been underpinned by more than £25 million from main investors ABB, the Scottish government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund, DP Energy, Fred. Olsen Group and Total New Energies.

Steel fabrication of the machine was carried out by fabricators in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England with assembly and commissioning of the SR2000 taking place at Harland & Wolff shipyard over the past 12 months, drawing on H&W’s 150 years of marine manufacturing experience to deliver this next generation technology.

By Rebecca Strong