Tidal stream prototype clocks up 3 GWh of electricity in first year
Scotrenewables Tidal Power has announced that its 2 MW floating tidal stream turbine prototype has managed to generate more than 3 GWh of renewable electricity during its first year of continuous operation, which is reported to be more than the entire wave and tidal energy sector has notched up in the 12 years before the launch of the SR2000 in 2016.
"The SR2000's phenomenal performance has set a new benchmark for the tidal industry," said Scotrenewables CEO Andrew Scott. "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 prototype is 64 m (210 ft) long with a maximum diameter of 3.8 m (12.5 ft), can be installed in waters more than 25 m (82 ft) deep thanks to its flexible mooring system and makes use of proven components from other industries. Below the surface, the 16 m (52.5 ft) rotor harvests tidal energy with variable speed power regulation and fixed pitch blades. Dubbed the world's most powerful operating tidal stream turbine, it has managed to supply over 25 percent of the electricity needs of the Orkney Islands, off the coast of northern Scotland, during its first 12 months of continuous operation.
Bolstered by this success, and the equally impressive performance of four tidal turbines deployed in the Pentland Firth, the company – with help from the EU's Horizon 2020 scheme – is now planning to build a 2 MW commercial tidal turbine later this year, which will also be deployed in Orkney. A report by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in May reckoned that the tidal stream industry could "generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £1,400 m, including considerable exports, and support 4,000 jobs by 2030."
"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," added Scott.
You can learn more about the SR2000 in the video below, which was released when the prototype had managed 2 GWh back in April, 2018.