Orkney tidal turbine generating 'phenomenal result'

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Aug 22 00:47:34 BST 2018

>Subject: First year of the tidal turbine
>From: Paul Mobbs <mobbsey at gn.apc.org>

Orkney tidal turbine generating 'phenomenal result'

By Kevin Keane BBC Scotland's environment correspondent
    * 21 August 2018
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Media captionThe SR2000 was installed in the Fall of Warness, west of 
the island of Eday, in August 2017
A flagship tidal energy turbine has generated more electricity in its 
first year than Scotland's entire wave and tidal sector produced before it.
The Scotrenewables SR2000, with its 2MW turbine, was installed in the 
sea off Orkney in 2017.
It has now generated three gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from 
near continuous operation, its owners said.
It is estimated the seas around the UK could one day be capable of 
generating 20% of electricity needs.
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The European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) in Orkney has tested 30 
different devices since it was launched in 2003.
Between the rest of them, they have generated 2.8 GWh hours of electricity.
But the latest full-scale prototype, at 63m, has so far proved to be 
the most successful.
Artist's impression of SR2000 tidal turbine

Andrew Scott, chief executive officer of Scotrenewables Tidal Power, 
said: "It is a phenomenal result. For one, we've had continual 
generation or testing for a year. That's fairly unique in this sector.

"We've generated over three GWh into the Scottish grid.

"That's more than three times any prototype system that's come before 
us and, in fact, cumulatively that's more power generated in 12 
months from this single turbine than the entire wave and tidal energy 
sector has done in Scotland in the 12 years preceding the launch of 
this turbine."

The company believes the key to its success has been the design of 
the generator which is significantly different to previous tidal systems.

'Disruptive technology'

Older prototypes involved machines - similar to wind turbines - being 
fixed to the seabed.

However, the SR2000 more closely resembles a boat with the rotors 
hanging from a device which floats on the surface.

That makes it easier and cheaper to carry out maintenance because 
moving parts are more easily accessible.

Mr Scott added: "We've taken a very novel approach and we believe 
we've got a very disruptive technology in that space."

The device was installed in the Fall of Warness, west of the island 
of Eday, in August 2017.

It can typically generate 7% of Orkney's electricity but at points 
has been able to power more than a quarter of the area's homes.

But because it is still in its infancy, the power is still expensive 
to produce compared with wind.

Jonathan Lindsay, from Emec, said: "Wind has had about 50 years from 
when it first started, whereas wave and tidal has really been over 
the last 10 years or so and has actually made quite a lot of progress 
in that time.

"As we move forward we will see bigger and bigger machines coming along."

The industry experienced a significant setback four years ago when 
firm Pelamis went into administration after failing to secure investment.

But the Orkney site has recorded several '"firsts" including 
recent success at creating hydrogen from marine power.

Gina Hanrahan, from environmental charity WWF Scotland, said: "As we 
transition to a wholly renewable electricity system, it's really 
important that we have a diversity of renewable electricity sources.

"We've seen huge growth in onshore wind and offshore wind over recent 
years and it's great to see new tidal technologies now hitting new milestones."

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