OpenHydro tidal turbine at EMEC up for removal

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is looking to appoint a contractor to remove OpenHydro’s test tidal energy turbine installed offshore Orkney.

Photo showing OpenHydro open-center turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Mike Brookes-Roper/Archive)
OpenHydro open-center turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Courtesy of EMEC/Photo by Mike Brookes-Roper/Archive)

EMEC has opened a tender for the removal of a 6-metre diameter turbine from the failed Irish tidal turbine developer OpenHydro.

The tender relates to the removal of the turbine from its test platform installed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness test site, which OpenHydro used continuously to streamline its tidal turbine technology until its liquidation in 2018.

OpenHydro was the first developer to use the tidal test site at the Fall of Warness off the island of Eday when its test rig and 250kW open centred turbine were installed in 2006.

The device was the first tidal turbine to be grid-connected in Scotland and subsequently the first to successfully generate electricity to the national grid in the UK.

The test rig consists of two steel monopoles grouted into sockets drilled into the seabed, with a platform suspended from the piles to provide a working area.

The turbine is fixed to the piles using two steel collars, which allow the unit to be lowered into the sea using two 15 tonne hydraulic winches. The test rig allowed the turbine to be raised out of the water easily, reducing the cost and time for testing, maintaining and updating the device.

The tender is open for applications until 31 August 2021.

To remind, in July 2018, the French-based Naval Energies, the parent company of OpenHydro, decided to stop further investments into development of its tidal energy business, forcing the liquidation of the Irish-based subsidiary.

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