A FLOATING tidal turbine developer based in Scotland has successfully launched what will become the world’s most powerful operational tidal turbine.

Orbital Marine Power launched its 2MW Orbital O2 from the Port of Dundee yesterday after the 680-tonne turbine was transferred from the Forth Ports quayside facility in Dundee into the River Tay using a submersible barge. 

The launch marks the completion of the turbine build, managed by TEXO Fabrication, and the O2 will now be towed to the Orkney Islands where it will undergo commissioning before being connected to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) where it will become the world’s most powerful operational tidal turbine.

The National:

Speaking on the launch, Orbital’s CEO, Andrew Scott, said: “This is a huge milestone for Orbital; the O2 is a remarkable example of British cleantech innovation and the build we have completed here is an inspiring display of what a UK supply chain can achieve if given the opportunity – even under the extraordinary pressures of a pandemic.”

The O2 turbine started construction in the second half of 2019 and reflects approximately 80% UK supply content. From Scottish steel work and main manufacturing through to anchors from Wales and blades from the south of England; the build of the O2 is estimated to have supported more than 80 jobs within the UK economy

The launch of the O2 marks the first vessel launch from Dundee since ship building ended more than 40 years ago.

O2 has the ability to generate enough clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2000 homes and offset approximately 2200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.

Chris Smith, managing director of TEXO Group, commented: “The O2 programme has given us a significant opportunity to demonstrate our multi-disciplinary capabilities, and our proactive approach to working collaboratively with clients. We firmly believe that the transition to a net-zero environment will deliver a range of opportunities to the UK’s engineering and fabrication sectors and we are very proud to see Orbital’s O2 turbine launched today.”

READ MORE: World's most powerful tidal turbine, built in Scotland, to head for Orkney

Also speaking on the launch of the new turbine, John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council said: “I’m very proud of the role that Dundee has played in helping to deliver this pioneering tidal turbine and congratulate the team at Orbital Marine and TEXO for their incredible efforts during the hardest year in recent memory. 

“Orbital Marine’s incredible piece of engineering will play a pivotal role in showcasing this technology and helping Scotland to achieve its ambition in tackling the climate emergency, further propelling Dundee into a city which is transforming itself into a hub for renewables and innovation.”