Photo: Scotrenewables' SR2000 in Orkney (Photo: Scotrenewables Tidal Power)

Floating tidal turbine clocks record 3GWh in a single year

Scotrenewables’ SR2000 in Orkney (Photo: Scotrenewables Tidal Power)

The SR2000 floating tidal turbine, developed by Scotrenewables Tidal Power, has generated more power over the past 12 months than the entire wave and tidal energy sectors in Scotland in more than a decade.

In its first year of continuous operation, the pioneering SR2000 – the world’s most powerful operating tidal stream turbine with 2MW generating capacity – has supplied the equivalent annual electricity demand of around 830 UK households, and at times has been supplying over 25% of the power needs of the Orkney Islands.

Andrew Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Scotrenewables, 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 has delivered a performance level approaching that of widely deployed mature renewable technologies.”

“The ability to easily access the SR2000 for routine maintenance has been a significant factor in our ability to generate electricity at such levels over the past 12 months, including over winter.”

With the support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme, Scotrenewables Tidal Power said it’s planning to start the build of a 2MW commercial production unit later in the year which will also go to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) for testing before the company targets sales of the turbine.

The 64-meter long SR2000 floating tidal turbine, engineered and built with a 16-meter rotor diameter for each of its 1MW turbines, has broken several records – including a few of its own – since the launch which took place in Orkney in October 2016.

Tidal power market ready – UK shows ‘total lack of market support’

The SR2000 floating tidal turbine (Photo: Scotrenewables Tidal Power)

The team at Scotrenewables said that their achievement, 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.

“The SR2000 has completed the job of demonstrating that we have a breakthrough technology and we will now be shifting all our focus and resources towards building on that success with a product which we are confident can enable a new industry created around a predictable renewable energy source,” Andrew Scott said.

Commenting on UK government policy, Scotrenewables’ Chief Executive stressed: “We are dismayed that there is a total lack of market support here in the UK for our technology, and we have no option but to focus our business on overseas opportunities.”

In May 2018, a report from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult said that the tidal stream industry could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £1.4 billion, including considerable exports, and support 4,000 jobs by 2030.