Orbital Marine Power Ltd (Orbital), the world’s leading developer of floating tidal stream turbines, has awarded the composite blades contract for the company’s first commercial O2 tidal turbine to A C Marine & Composites (ACMC) who will carry out the manufacturing at their facilities in Gosport, Hampshire, England.
The contract will see ACMC build 10m composite blades for both of the O2’s twin rotors (four blades in total) giving the machine a swept area of over 600 square meters, the largest ever on a tidal turbine.
The O2, capable of generating over 2MW from tidal stream resources, will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation later next year (2020) as part of a long term project at the European Marine Energy Centre, Orkney. Improvements in Orbital’s platform design have allowed for a rotor diameter increase of 4m on the company’s previous, record breaking, 2MW SR2000 turbine, with the O2 capable of producing electricity for over 1,700 UK homes.
Andrew Scott, Orbital’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“A C Marine & Composites have an impressive track record in delivering high quality composites solutions to a range of sectors including marine energy. We are delighted that they are supporting the commercialisation of our technology through the O2 project.
We believe this contract demonstrates the strong potential for the UK’s advanced materials sector to supply high value components to the emerging, global tidal stream market.”
Alex Newton, Director, A C Marine & Composites said:
“We are extremely proud to have been awarded this contract by Orbital Marine; becoming part of the wider UK supply chain for the O2 project. Our structured production philosophy and in-house resin infusion technology will no doubt add value to this commercial tidal stream project. This is also a great opportunity for A C Marine & Composites to work on a project that will have a positive impact on the environment, whilst reaffirming the UK’s commitment to renewables.”
Orbital’s contract with ACMC follows recent contract awards as part of the overall build programme for the O2; these include the O2 platform manufacturing contract to TEXO Group in Dundee and an anchors contract to FAUN Trackway in Anglesey.
Orbital Marine Power Ltd is an innovative Scottish engineering company focused on the development of a tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a step-change reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents. The company’s novel floating technology offers a low-cost solution for simplified and safe manufacture, installation, access and maintenance along with the ability to use low cost, small workboats for all offshore operations. The company currently employs 30 staff with offices in Orkney and Edinburgh.
The Orbital technology has been under continuous engineering development, including rigorous testing of scaled systems in both tank conditions and open ocean environments, since the company was founded in Orkney in 2002. Orbital were the first company in the world to successfully grid connect a floating tidal turbine in 2011 with their 250kW scale system which was operated at EMEC.
In 2016 the company launched the SR2000, the world’s most powerful tidal stream turbine. The SR2000 produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12 month continuous test programme. At the time this represented more power from a single turbine than had been generated cumulatively by the wave and tidal sector in Scotland over the 12 years prior to the launch of the SR2000.
The Orbital O2 will comprise of a 72m long floating superstructure, supporting two 1 MW turbines at either side for a nameplate power output of 2MW, at a tidal current speed of 2.5 m/s. With rotor diameters of 20m, it will have a 600sq metre rotor area, the largest ever on a single tidal generating platform to date.
In October 2018 Orbital opened a £7m crowd funding debenture on the London-based Abundance Investment platform to support the build of the O2 turbine with the target being met inside 10 weeks.
The O2 have also been awarded a £3.4m grant from the Scottish Government (in August 2019) from the £10m Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.
The O2 project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the FloTEC project (grant agreement No. 691916) and the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg North West Europe Programme under the ITEG project.
This project has also received support under the framework of the OCEANERA-NET COFUND project, with funding provided by national / regional sources and co-funding by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme.
Orbital Marine Power Limited (formerly called Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited) is a privately held company, main shareholders are the McGrath Group headed by Scottish entrepreneur Matt McGrath and Scottish Enterprise via the Energy Investment Fund.
About AC Marine & Composites Ltd
A C Marine & Composites is an industry leader in the manufacture of composite components. We are trusted, transparent and innovative, and invest wisely in equipment and personnel. Home is a 22,000 sq ft production facility on the south coast of England. This workshop gives us the versatility to build on traditional methods, ensuring we can create solutions with the precision we – and our customers – expect.
We work hard to refine existing processes and develop new ones. Regular reporting continuously improves our output and reassures customers about production quality and speed.
Developing our people is also a priority. At ACM&C experienced craftsmen work with, and empower, the next generation of composites experts. In-house training is reviewed and updated regularly. Our strong team ethos is extended to the way we work with customers – we operate an open-door approach that builds understanding and trust in equal measure.