Greening the Islands Foundation

\’World\’s most powerful\’ tidal turbine sets sail from Dundee

A tidal-powered turbine, which its makers say is the most powerful in the world, has begun its journey from Dundee to Orkney.

The 680-tonne Orbital O2, which is 72m (236 ft) long, was assembled at the Port of Dundee over the past 18 months.

It will be anchored close to Orkney where it will produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes.

The tidal turbine will be towed from Dundee and arrive in Orkney at the weekend.

The turbine\’s superstructure will float on the surface of the water, with rotors attached to its legs.

These will extract energy from the passing tidal flow.


Orbital Marine Power chief executive Andrew Scott said: \”We\’ve been developing this technology here in the UK for over 15 years.

\”We\’re looking now to sell these units and sell the electricity on a commercial, competitive basis and this turbine is very much the first part of that process.\”

Mr Scott said that Orkney was an ideal location to host the new turbine.

He said: \”The company\’s headquarters is there, but Orkney also sits in some of the strongest tidal currents in the world.

\”It\’s got a fairly ferocious sea that\’s around it, so it makes it about the best place in the world that you can develop and test these technologies.\”

The floating structure is held on station with a four-point mooring system with each mooring chain having the strength to lift over 50 double decker buses.

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

Mr Scott said: \”This is a journey of commercialisation for us. What we really need is market support to allow us to build and install more of these right around the UK coastline.

\”We certainly think there is an ability to generate significant amounts of power to help the UK meet its transition to net zero.\”

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